Thomasina Miers’ recipe for black bean enfrijoladas

Thomasina Miers

Softened and warmed tortillas, smothered in black bean puree, and topped with a tangy sofrito, sliced radishes and coriander

Enfrijoladas are enchiladas smothered in a bean sauce, and are typical of Mexico’s Oaxaca region; they are also one of many ingenious ways to use up leftover corn tortillas. I love cooking the beans from scratch, both for quality and affordability, but if you’re pressed for time, use tinned instead. To get ahead, arrange the enfrijoladas in a casserole dish and, when you want to eat, bake them for half an hour, scatter with the feta and pico de gallo, and serve.

Black bean enfrijoladas

The simple, bright salsa cuts through the rich black beans, while the feta adds a lovely, salty tang. You could use 250g spinach instead of the chard.

Soak Overnight
Prep 20 min
Cook 1-2 hr
Serves 4-6

45g butter
2 white onions
, peeled and sliced
1 tsp chipotles in adobo
2 bay leaves
2 tsp cider vinegar
chard, stems and leaves separated, both chopped
10 x 12 cm corn tortillas
150g feta
, crumbled
250g mozzarella, torn
1 small bunch of coriander, leaves picked and roughly chopped
3-4 radishes, very thinly sliced

For the beans
6 large garlic cloves, peeled, 2 bashed with the flat of a knife, 4 finely chopped
300g dried black turtle beans
, soaked overnight (or 2 x 400g tinned black beans, drained, and added after you’ve fried the onions)
½ star anise (or 1 tsp dried hoja santa)
Salt and black pepper

For the pico de gallo
1 small white onion, peeled
3 medium tomatoes
1 red chilli
Juice of 1 lime

Soak the dried beans overnight in cold water, then drain, put in a large pan and add enough water to cover by at least 8cm. Add the two bashed garlic cloves and the star anise, bring to a boil, turn down the heat and cook for one to two hours, until just soft (the timing will depend on how old the beans are); skim off any foam that rises to the surface while they’re cooking. When the beans are beginning to turn tender, season with a heaped teaspoon of sea salt. Drain, reserving the cooking broth.

When the beans are cooked, heat the butter in a heavy-based pan and, when it’s gently foaming, add the onion, the four finely chopped garlic cloves, the chard stems, bay leaves and chipotle. Season well, then sweat gently, stirring often, for about 10 minutes, until soft.

Transfer half the onion mixture to a large bowl and add half the cooked beans (or the drained tinned beans, if using). Put the remaining cooked beans (or tinned beans) into the onion mixture that’s left in the pan, add 400ml water (or bean cooking liquid) and the cider vinegar, then, using a stick blender, blitz to a smooth sauce, loosening with more bean cooking liquid or water until it’s the consistency of thick pouring cream. Adjust the seasoning to taste and keep warm.

Put the reserved whole bean and onion mix in a pan, heat gently so the beans hold their shape, then stir in the chard leaves and cook until wilted.

Courtesy: theguardian