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Smoky Black Bean Chili with Ham - Guiso de Frijoles Negros con Jamón


Smoky Black Bean Chili with Ham - Guiso de Frijoles Negros con Jamón

Smoky Black Bean Chili with Ham - Guiso de Frijoles Negros con Jamón

Marian Blazes

This tasty black bean chili is seasoned with ham, tomatoes, cumin and chile powder, and a touch of fresh lime.

Next time you buy a whole ham, be sure to save the bone - it's perfect for giving a rich smoky flavor to beans, soups and stews. You can also buy smoked ham hocks at the grocery (ask your butcher if you can't find them). Smoked ham gives these beans the best flavor, but any ham will work.


  • 1 pound bag dried black beans
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, yellow, red or orange, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2-3 teaspoons chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon aji panca chile pepper paste (or 1 tablespoon diced red chile pepper- chipotles are good)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 ham bone or ham hock, preferably smoked
  • 4-6 cups water or stock
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 1 small (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 2-3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Grated cheese, sour cream, chopped fresh cilantro, and/or chopped green onions for garnish


  1. Rinse beans and cover with water. Let soak for 1-2 hours.

  2. In a large stockpot, sauté the onions, garlic, celery and bell pepper in the vegetable oil until soft and fragrant.

  3. Add the next five ingredients, and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes.

  4. Add beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, ham hock, and enough water or stock (chicken or vegetable) to cover ham bone. Simmer gently for 45 minutes to an hour, adding more liquid if needed.

  5. Taste for seasoning and add sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Continue to simmer until liquid is reduce, chili has thickened, and beans are tender. Taste for seasoning, and add lime juice.

  6. Serve warm with white rice. Garnish with grated cheddar cheese, chopped cilantro, sour cream, and/or chopped green onions.

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