More often than not I prepare black beans vegetarian. However I wanted to compare them to a recipe from "South American Cooking: A Step-by-Step Guide to Authentic Dishes Made Easy" (2010). Having made only minor recipe changes, I found the outcome quite tasty. But the earthy flavor of home cooked black beans are always good ~ bacon or no bacon. You might want to try this version of the popular Brazilian food known as feijoada. (Leftovers freeze very well.)
Soak beans overnight (8 hours) or use quick-soak method; drain.
Heat oil in large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until fat is rendered and bacon lightly browned.
Add onions and garlic and cook 5 minutes.
Add soaked drained beans to pot and cover with water by 2 inches. Add salt, parsley and bay leaf.
Cover and simmer 2 hours or until beans are tender, stirring occasionally and checking water level. (Too much water till dilute the taste and texture. Add just enough additional water if needed to maintain broth consistency ~ see photo.)
Discard parsley and bay leaf. Remove 1 cup of beans and puree; return to pot and continue cooking for 5 more minutes until thickened. Adjust for seasoning.