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CHIPOTLE BLACK BEANS

2 lb dry black beans
1 lb bacon
1/2 oz dried chipotle peppers or to taste
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped.
3 small, sweet onions, about 1/2 pound, chopped coarsely
1/2 Tbsp salt, or to taste
1/3 cup packed brown sugar, or to taste
A few dashes of Liquid Smoke flavoring

Soak dry black beans 8 hours or overnight. Drain and cover with
excess water, bring to a slow boil, reduce to keep simmering for
about 1 1/2 hours. Add hot water to keep from drying, but not soupy.
When beans are nearly tender, but still not broken up, start the
following: Break up the bacon and fry slowly, until crisp. Remove
the cooked bacon with a slotted spoon, keeping the rendered fat
hot. Break up the bacon into small pieces, maybe 1/2 inch square
or less. Stir into beans, and let simmer. Cut off stems of Chipotle
peppers, and slice crosswise into 1/4 inch or so slices. Stir into
beans. Stir chopped garlic into hot bacon fat, about 30 seconds,
just until lightly browned. Remove and stir into beans. Fry onions
in the bacon fat, until transparent and soft. Remove onions with
a slotted spoon, and stir into beans. Add salt and brown sugar to
taste. Continue to simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until beans are
tender, and flavors well-blended. To thicken the liquid, remove
about 1 cup of cooked beans and broth, whip in a blender or food
processor, and stir back into the pot.

Adjustments you might make: A little more brown sugar, as the beans
become less sweet after simmering. More Chipotles! The above is
definitely in the "Mild" range. A few dashes of Liquid Smoke
flavoring wouldn't hurt, near the end.

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