Image: Heidi Selwood
Image: Heidi Selwood

Black bean brilliance…

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If you’re missing your mum’s cooking and in the need for something comforting, then look no further. This Venezuelan black bean with baked sweet potato recipe is deeply flavoursome, smoky, and moreish. It’s a little more complex than a simple salad, but trust me, it’s worth it!

Total cooking time: 45 minutes.

Serves 4.


  • 4 large sweet potatoes
  • 3 tins of black beans
  • 1 green pepper, diced into small cubes
  • 8 stalks of celery, sliced into thin slices
  • 1 large onion, diced into small slices
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed (or chopped finely)
  • 3 tablespoons of dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin
  • 200g chorizo, diced into small cubes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • 500ml chicken or beef stock
  • 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 2 packets of mange tout, or any other green vegetable.


1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Prick the sweet potatoes with a fork and wrap in tin foil. Place in the oven and cook for 45 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan heat the oil and add the chorizo, onion, cumin, and garlic. Gently fry it for 2-3 minutes until browned slightly.

3. Next add the celery and green pepper and cook for 6-8 minutes until softened.

4. Open up the tins of black beans and drain the liquid.

5. Add the black beans and stock to the sauce pan and bring to a boil.

6. Add the dark brown sugar, Worcester sauce, salt and pepper.

7. Leave to simmer for 30 minutes for the flavours to combine.

8. In the last 5 minutes of cooking, bring another small saucepan of water to boil and add the mange tout (or other green vegetables) and simmer for 5 minutes.

9. Now it is time for the assembly! Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven and place one on each plate. Top each potato with the black beans and serve with mange tout on the side. Enjoy!

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