Recipe Black Beans in Brown Ale

Morning Glory

Obsessive cook
Staff member
19 Apr 2015
Local time
2:04 AM
Maidstone, Kent, UK
I usually cook black beans in a spicy Mexican style sauce but wanted to try something different. Slow cooked beef in brown ale is a traditional British way to cook beef and here and I set about trying to re-create something of that deep and dark savoury taste in a vegan bean dish. Juniper and allspice warm almost ‘gamey’ notes to the sauce and the coffee and tamari sauce add depth of flavour. The overall taste of dish is going to vary according to the bitterness of the ale used and you will need to add sugar judiciously, tasting as you go to achieve the right balance. This dish can be eaten as a main course with other vegetables or alternatively, used as a base for another dish such as cottage pie, in place of meat.


Ingredients (serves 2)
1 medium onion, cut into slices
1 tbsp oil
1 x 400g tin of black beans
100ml bean water, reserved from the can
150ml strong dark ale (I used Hobgoblin Ruby
¼ tsp allspice
6 juniper berries, lightly crushed
1 or 2 fresh bay leaves
1 tbsp tamari sauce
1 tsp tomato paste
½ tsp instant coffee
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp sugar (or to taste)
Salt, to taste

Heat the oil in a pan and add the onion slices. Cooke gently until the onion is golden and caramelised. This will take at least 10 minutes.
Turn up the heat and add the brown ale , allowing it to bubble for a few minutes.
Add all the other ingredients except for sugar and salt, mixing well.
Allow the sauce the simmer gently for at least 15 minutes until it reduces and thickens
Add the beans and heat through. Add sugar and salt to taste.

With some diced carrots added & made into an individual cottage pie (recipe makes 2 individual pies):


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