The Homesick Texan Cookbook ~ Austin-Style Black Beans

I was 16 the first time I visited Austin, Texas.  My older sister had left to attend her first year at St. Edward’s University.  Facing major separation anxiety I begged, pleaded my parents to allow me to skip a week of school to visit her in Austin.  To my surprise they said yes.  After consulting with the principal and agreeing to 30 days of after school detention to make up for a unexcused absence I was off to Austin.  From the first day I arrived I knew Austin was different. Different from the small town of Aransas Pass where I was from.  Different from any place I had ever visited.  Austin was energy, hope, movement all wrapped into a small town of the friendliest/coolest people I have ever met.  This why my sister had so eagerly wanted to move to Austin,  she belonged here.  We took advantage of every hour we had together visiting thrifts stores, bakeries, clubs (fake ids) and driving..we drove all of Austin every night, until the early morning hours just before she had to attend class.  We ate tacos, stacks of pancakes and drank local beer.  I was 16. I was in Austin. Life was good.

In 2006, Fain started the blog Homesick Texan to share Texan food with fellow expatriates, and the site immediately connected with readers worldwide, Texan and non-Texan alike. Now, in her long-awaited first cookbook, Fain brings the comfort of Texan home cooking to you. from the Homesick Texan website

These beans are alot like Austin layer upon layer of flavor, texture and coolness.  Chipotles add a smoky touch and cumin give them a Tex-Mex touch, pure goodness.

Austin-Style Black Beans

from The Homesick Texan Cookbook
makes 8-10 svgs.

1 lb. dried black beans
1 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo, chopped
½ c. cilantro, divided
½ tsp. ground cumin
1 Tbs. tomato paste
¼ c. lime juice
salt, to taste
Rinse and sort through beans, discarding any stones or shriveled beans.
Place beans in a large pot and cover with 1″ of water. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes.
Drain and rinse the beans in a colander in the sink.
Return the empty pot to the stove and on medium-low heat, warm the vegetable oil. Add onions and carrots to pot and cook until onions are translucent, stirring occasionally, ~8 minutes. Add garlic and cook another 30 seconds.
Return beans to the pot along with the chipotles and half of the cilantro. Cover with 2″ water, bring to a boil, then turn heat down to low and simmer uncovered for ~1½ hours.
Add remaining cilantro, cumin, tomato paste, and lime juice. Season to taste with salt. Cook uncovered for another 30 minutes, or until beans are tender all the way through (will vary depending on the freshness of your beans). When done, smash a few beans against the side of the pot with a spoon to thicken, if you wish. Stir and serve.

*This post is part of The Homesick Texan Cookbook Spotlight and Cook-Off sponsored by Hyperion and hosted by girlichef*



  1. says

    So happy to see you were chosen for this, Bonnie! I’ve been a fan of the Homesick Texan for a long time (and Lisa and I used to be co-workers). I pre-ordered two copies of her book (one for me and one for my mom, or else mom will steal mine!) and can’t wait for them to arrive in the mail!

    • Kim says

      Not hot at all….in fact, I was wishing I hadn’t thrown the can out….I probably would have added two more peppers! This is a very safe recipe…my daughter (who thinks toothpaste is hot)loved this soup and had no idea it had peppers in it.
      I served this with Lisa’s cornbread recipe….threw that cornbread right into our bowls with some shredded queso blanco and diced tomatoes….OMG, what a meal!

      • VianneyVianney says

        Hi Kim~

        I am so glad you loved the Beans. I adore them and also have added more peppers. Cornbread, queso and tomatoes. YUM!


  2. says

    What a fun story! I’ve been to Austin. I’ve never been to Texas (outside of the airport)….this cookbook is making ME homesick for Texas LOL. Your beans look wonderful! Looking forward to cooking with you this month :)

  3. says

    i’d be content to eat tacos, pancakes, and loads of black beans for the rest of my life, and it’s okay by me if i’m surrounded by texan cowboys as i do it. :)

  4. says

    Looks great! I love black beans, especially with some sour cream to make them creamy and delicious :) And you make me want to visit Austin now… I’ve been to most of the other major cities of Texas, and I was born in Houston, but I’ve never been to Austin. Maybe some day soon I can go!

  5. says

    I’ve never been to Austin or had much “Texan” cooking but after reading your post, I’m eager to get that feeling and try some Texas cooking!! This really sounds delicious and looks sooo good!!

  6. says

    I so want that cookbook. Glad to see a recipe from it. We love blackbeans in our house (how can you live in texas and not love blackbeans-right?) This looks fantastic and I am at my parents house right now and I know my dad would love these so might be making them tonight

  7. says

    One of my roommates in college was from Austin and she always made it sound like SUCH an awesome place! I’m sure the food was no small part of it! These black beans look amazing…everything i love about comfort food in one bowl.

  8. says

    I lived in Austin, went to school in Austin (UT), had my children in Austin and now I miss Austin (maybe not the heat!). So I totally understand what you mean about how awesome it is. Love, love, love Texas food and totally miss the restaurants.

    This looks like a great bean recipe and black beans are my favorite!

  9. says

    Hi Vianney,
    I just love your wonderful memories of Austin. Your presentation of the Austin Beans is very nice, they look so good. My beans are cooking as I write this note and I can’t hardly wait to taste them, the tacos were delicious. It is fun cooking with you!
    Miz Helen

  10. says

    ha…so austin is exactly what i think it is…i gotta get myself there! your story is so perfect…you are my kind of 16 yr old….agreeing to 30 days of detention for 1 blissful week…smart girl. your beans look gorgeous…and i know they tasted delicious…i have been gorging myself with these for days :) glad to have found your blog through this fun cook-off.

  11. says

    You need to come visit us again! These beans look great, and I can’t wait to try them. Thank you for making me smile before I head off to work. I hope you are having a beautiful Wednesday morning. As always, it was a pleasure to visit!


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