A slow cooked black bean stew

We bought a new slow cooker a little while ago. When the last lot of essays came in I had an excuse to stay home and put in some serious hours marking. This, conveniently enough, gave me time to watch over the slow cooker as it spent eight hours turning a motley collection of black beans, onions, chorizo and bacon into a delicious aromatic stew.

In a slow cooker, this type of thing is ludicrously easy. No need to do anything at all to the meat or veges, just in the cooker and ignore for a few hours. So here is the recipe (open to any tweaking you desire):

2 large brown onions, roughly chopped.
2 spicy chorizo, roughly chopped
Garlic – half a head or so, chopped.
2 cups dried black beans (Soaked overnight in water, drained)
Mushrooms (couple of cups of tiny brown buttons in this case, but whatever you want will do)
2 cans chopped tomatoes
150gm good bacon (buy a chunk, cut it into wedges)
Spices (paprika, chilli, some hot sauce, salt and pepper)
4-5 cups of beef stock (use low salt stuff if you can, the saltiness builds up in this dish)

Eat with cornbread (Recipe from a friend who I know doesn’t mind me sharing it, but who might not want her name on a blog, so…)

3/4 c. yellow cornmeal
2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. buttermilk
3/4 c. (1 1/2 sticks) butter, melted
3 eggs, beaten

In a large bowl measure cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and
salt. Blend well. Add buttermilk and butter slowly. Pour in eggs. Stir
only enough to blend the mixture thoroughly. Pour into 9 x 9 x 2,
baking pan (greased) and level with a spoon or spatula.

Bake in 400 degree preheated oven until the bread tests done when
pierced with a metal skewer, wooden toothpick, or the blade of a
knife. If it comes out clean and dry, the corn bread is done. Cut into
squares.

I found this too sweet the first time, so drastically reduced the sugar content. Still works, but you might want to play with it until you find a balance you like.

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