St. Louis is home to some amazing taco joints – Mission Taco, Gringo, and Seoul Taco to name a few – and they’ve inspired me to mess around with new flavors, techniques and ingredients. This recipe is the latest result of weekend experimentation with slow-cooked vegan taco filling (check out last time: Portobella Black Bean Tacos with Avocado Cream). This filling is sort of a combination between a stew and a braise and includes a St. Louis-inspired ingredient. One you will surely have on hand if you are having a proper weekend- 4 Hands Brown Ale. They are quick to put together and low maintenance as they slowly simmer, filling the house with an aroma that will have you looking forward to dinnertime.
One thing to remember when you are learning to cook, like I am: slow isn’t always a bad thing. I have realized that there is a war going on between our busy lives and the taste of our food.
Michael Pollan relates:
Most recipes are steeped in the general sense of panic about time, and so we have tried to speed everything up, the better to suit “our busy lives”. In the case of braising and stews, this usually means cranking up the cooking temperature, often to 325 or 350. At those temperatures, the gradual transformations and meldings of flavors, the chemical reactions and synergies of taste that make so many slow-cooked foods so delicious, simply won’t have a chance to unfold.
So the more you slow it down and let this one simmer, the better all the flavors fuse together and the better the end result.
- 1 T olive oil
- 2 cups dried pinto beans
- 2 poblano peppers, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 medium yellow onions, diced
- 2 chipotles in adobo sauce, diced (add 1-2 more for extra heat)
- 1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes
- 2 12 ounce cans of brown ale
- 1 T ground cumin
- 1 T salt
- bay leaves
- Soak beans overnight to reduce cooking time
- Heat olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat and saute the onion, poblanos, and garlic until the onions are translucent
- Stir in cumin, salt, and optional herbs
- Stir in pinto beans, chipotles with adobo sauce, entire can of tomatoes, 1.5 cans of brown ale
- Drink the leftover brown ale 🙂
- Stir and bring to a boil
- Simmer until beans are tender and sauce thickens (2-3 hrs)
- Serve on your choice of tortillas with avocado, cilantro, and lime juice