spicy sweet black beans

tonight on the way home from work, I picked up a package of taco shells (had to read the labels carefully! the first package had wheat and the second had palm oil!) and a tub of soy sour cream. We took a pound of the ground beef I bought from the neighbour's organic farm and sauteed that with garlic, chili powder and dried hot pepper, added about 1/2 cup of water and let that simmer on the back of the stove while I made these fabulous beans to go with. Open a jar of salsa from last summer's canning and we were feasting!

Spicy and Sweet Black Beans

3 slices of bacon cut in 1/2 inch pieces
3 or 4 shallots, sliced
1 or 2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 500ml jar canned tomatoes (chop them if whole, but don't drain)
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 chipotle pepper, (I used a tinned pepper) chopped
1 Tbsp dried oregano (or 2 Tbsp fresh chopped)

In your big frying pan, warm the bacon to start to release the oils, and when the pan is coated, add the shallots and cook slowly, stirring frequently. When they are quite soft, add the garlic and simmer a few more minutes. Stir in the remaining ingredients and heat to a medium heat. It should be pretty juicy. Once it starts bubbling, turn it down just enough that it continues to bubble & stir until the tomato juice is mostly cooked in.

The sweet and heat are just fabulous together and when you add the oregano, it is a great round flavour with the black beans. This was a perfect side dish for the tacos, or as taco stuffing.

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