Beans, beans, the musical fruit,The more you eat, the more you toot – Stephen King
My neighborhood was all black so musically it was soul, funk, blues, and hip hop. But on TV it was MTV all day. Pearl Jam was my group, but none of the homies were checking for them. I mean most cats in my hood thought Jimi Hendrix was white based on his sound. I had previously received a pass when it was revealed that I liked David Bowie, Pink Floyd, etc. given the influence of black artists on them. However rock cats from Seattle was an altogether different story. I’ve always had a large collection of music from tapes and vinyl to CDs. I remember getting a surprise visit from my crew and them discovering my “diverse” musical tastes. It was like Queen Latifah’s character “Cleo” tossing wack CDs during the car theft scene in the movie “Set It Off”.
I tried to sell them on the musical skills of Pearl Jam and the other artists from the region including Nirvana. Even tried to trace the lineage back to Jimi and then via some sort of 6 degrees of separation way tie it back to our favorite movie “White Men Can’t Jump”. All I got was ‘get da eff outta here’ stares and taunts. Our state of love and trust was broken.
I had an identical experience with my mother the first time I made beans for her. Keep in mind, beans and smokey fatback go together like peanut butter and jelly. When I told her that I’d be making red beans sans the pork I got that same condescending my boys gave me, which easily could have been the look she gave my wife and I the first time she visited with the kids and was given “the list” by my wife. That ish didn’t go over well and neither did my pork free announcement.
However, I convinced her to give it a try. To her credit though highly skeptical before trial she did find it in her prideful self to give me props. The smokiness provided by the dried chile peppers were sufficient as a smoked pork substitute. The broth with its complexity was a winner, good enough to provoke a request for the recipe. I used red bns for this recipe, but its foolproof for black beans, navy beans, cannelli beans, etc. Serve this with rice to make a tasty red beans and rice dish. This can also be easily converted to a non-vegan dish by adding andouille sausage for a typical creole type dish.
Dope beats, fresh eats. Enjoy!
“State of Love and Trust” Vegan Red Beans in Smokey Broth
- 1 ½ pound dried red beans
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 6 garlic cloves minced
- 2 medium onions finely diced
- 1 large rib celery finely diced
- 1 medium green bell pepper chopped
- 1 large poblano chile chopped
- 2 tablespoons smoked sweet paprika
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablepoon salt
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons dried herbs mix oregano, thyme, and basil
- 1 large onion quartered
- 4 carrots peeled and cut in 1/2
- 4 ribs celery cut in 1/2
- 1 ear of corn cut into quarters
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 5 sprigs fresh parsley with stems
- 2 bay leaves
- 8 to 10 peppercorns
- 2 whole cloves garlic peeled
- 1 gallon cold water
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 4 dried morita or chipotle chiles
Put water in large stockpot. Place vegetables, herbs and spices in a steamer basket directly in the water filled stockpot. Cook on high heat until you begin to see bubbles break through the surface of the liquid. Turn heat down to medium low so that stock maintains low, gentle simmer.
Simmer uncovered for 6 to 8 hours. Strain stock through a fine mesh strainer into another large stockpot or heatproof container discarding the solids. Cool immediately and place in refrigerator overnight
In a large bowl, cover beans in water and soak for at least 4 hours or overnight. (Water should cover beans by at least an inch.)
In a large pot heat the canola oil over medium-high heat. Saute the onion, celery, green bell pepper, poblano, and garlic until tender.
Add the paprika, cayenne, herbs, salt and pepper. Saute for about 5 minutes then add the red beans, vegetable stock and bay leaves.
Let simmer uncovered on low for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Stirring occasionally and adding water, if necessary.