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Mary Nell Lovett’s Muy Bueno Black Beans



1 pound dried black beans
8½ cups water, divided
½ pound bacon, diced
1 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2½ cups water
¾ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
½ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 29-ounce can diced tomatoes
Salt to taste

Recipe directions: 

“I tend to use more of the herbs than specified, but that is up to individual taste,” Mary Nell says.

Bring beans and 6 cups water to a boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat; let sit, covered, for 1 hour. In a large pot, cook bacon until golden brown; remove and drain all but 2 tablespoons of the drippings. In the drippings, sauté onion and garlic until tender. Add seasonings and remaining water. Drain the beans. Add beans and bacon and simmer for 1-1 1/2 until tender. Add tomatoes with their liquid, and salt if needed. Taste and add additional herbs and seasoning, as preferred. Simmer for 30 more minutes, and add more water if necessary while cooking.

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