Black Bean Dip

Basic beans will get through through the thin times that can sometimes come with living in Taos.

3 cups black beans
2 ½ quarts hot water
¼ cup salt pork, cubed bacon or fatty ham
3 garlic cloves, peeled
One medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon salt or more
1-3 Tablespoons red chile powder depending on your taste

Sort out the wrinkled and funky-looking beans, checking for small dirt clods or pieces of gravel. Rinse them in cold water. Put them in a large pot (understanding they are going to double in size), cover them with at least 6 cups water and let them soak overnight.

There is a debate on whether you should drain off the water the beans soaked in or cook them in that water. It does nothing for the mellifluous property beans seem to have on most of us. Also, adding baking soda to the water as the beans soak is reported to cut down on the gas, but if you look at the actual science, there’s a substance in the beans the human can’t digest, which is why they create flatulence. In other words, no amount of baking soda can cut through the science, so I have stopped adding it.

Bring the beans to a boil under a high heat, then cover and reduce the flame with the intention of letting the beans cook for a couple of hours or more with regular checks, and the addition of water if needed and stirring.

Plan a couple or three hours of cooking time for the beans.

When they are done, drain them and reserve the liquid. Put them in a food processor, half a batch at a time. leave a little texture in the dip, using the reserved liquid to control thickness.

Serve warm with lime wedges, some chopped parsley or cilantro on top. Served with corn chips.