Black beans in the pressure cooker

When we were cooking men’s club breakfast Sunday at church, Andy Borders, a master cook who runs the kitchen for all our men’s club events, brought some country ham as a special treat this month. He carefully trimmed it, and asked if anyone wanted the trimmings to season beans with. No one else spoke up, so I claimed them – I asked if they would freeze and figured I’d make beans in another month or two.

But I had a day off work today and decided black beans were a good day-off project. I bought the dry beans and some other ingredients this morning. But I realized on the way home from the store that have a Relay For Life committee meeting at 5:15 today. If I soaked the beans all day, I wouldn’t be able to start cooking until after I got home from the meeting. No dice – our meetings sometimes run longer than two hours, and the beans would take 90 minutes to cook after I got home.

So I went online looking for a pressure cooker recipe, and found this one from the Food Network’s Tyler Florence. I’m stealing the technique but I’m using the seasonings I had on hand and those I bought this morning. The beans are cooking with the country ham scraps, onion, garlic powder (I usually have fresh garlic on hand, but not today), cumin, chili powder and dry cilantro. After they’ve cooked, I’ll add Ro-Tel tomatoes and some lemon juice to perk things up. There’s cornbread in the oven to go with the beans. I’ll have the beans for lunch and then eat what I was going to have for lunch later today.