Slow-cooked Black Bean Ragout

Slow-cooked Black Bean Ragout

Slow-cooked Black Bean Ragout from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. An incredible bean stew served with garlicky toast, cumin cream and lime-pickled red onions.

For how many? About 1.4 litres of ragout


  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 450g dried black beans, rinsed if not already soaked
  • 1 dried chilli
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 tsp table salt
  • 2 to 2 1/2 litres water or unsalted vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp lime juice or sherry vinegar
  • 2.5cm-thick slices of bread, such as country or ciabatta loaf
  • Olive oil
  • Table salt
  • 1 large garlic clove, halved
  • 1 ts ground cumin
  • 240g soured cream or creme fraiche
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 medium red onion, finely diced
  • Table salt
  • Chopped fresh coriander leaves (or flat-leaf parsley if you're coriander-averse)
  • Avocado wedges


To cook the beans:

Slow cooker - Put all the bean ragout ingredients except lime juice or vinegar in a slow cooker (the slow cooker doesn't care how you layer your ingredients). Cover and cook at high setting until beans are very tender, about 3 hours (in my super-speedy slow-cooker) to 6 hours.

Stovetop - Put all the bean ragout ingredients except lime juice or vinegar in a large pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a very slow simmer and cook for approximately 3 hours, until the beans are tender.

To make toasts: Brush bread with oilve oil, and sprinkle lightly with salt. Toast bread under the grill, and as soon as you take it out of the oven, rub it with the raw garlic clove.

To make cream: Stir together 1 teaspoon ground cumin with soured cream and set aside.

To make lime-pickled red onions: Mix the lime juice, onion, and a pinch or two of salt in a small dish and let stand for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Use to garnish black-bean ragout.

Once the beans are cooked, stir in the lime juice or vinegar. Adjust seasonings to taste. Ladle over garlicky toasts and sprinkle with chopped corriander, cumin cream and lime-pickled red onions. Serve with avocado wedges.

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