This recipe is a little fussy, but really delish. The pre-soaking is extremely important. You can easily make this vegetarian by omitting the bacon and using vegetable broth. See the notes below.
- Dry Black Beans 1 cup
- Water, for soaking 8 cups
- Salt, for soaking 4 1/2 tsp
- Water 2 cups
- Vegetable or Chicken broth 2 cups
- Olive Oil 2 tbsp
- Thick Sliced Uncooked Bacon, chopped, or Salt Pork 4 slices
- Green Bell Pepper, finely chopped 1 cup
- Onion, finely chopped 1 cup
- Ground Cumin 4 tsp
- Dried Oregano 1 tsp
- Garlic, minced 6 cloves
- Salt 1/2 tsp
- Bay Leaves 2
- Red Wine Vinegar 2 tbsp
- Cooked Long Grain Rice, for serving 2 cups
- In large bowl or container, dissolve 4 1/2 teaspoons of salt in 8 cups of water. Add dried beans. Allow to soak at room temperature for least 8 hours or overnight. Rinse and drain.
- In large dutch oven, heat olive oil, add bacon and cook until browned.
- Add bell pepper, onion, cumin and oregano. Cook until vegetables soften and begin to break down, about 10 minutes.
- Add garlic. Cook and stir 1 minute until fragrant. Pour in water and broth.
- Add beans, salt and bay leaves. Bring to boil. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer until beans are tender, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
- Add vinegar near end of cook time. Adjust salt as needed.
- Serve over rice with toppings as desired. Delicious served topped with sliced scallions and a squeeze of lime.
*To make this dish vegetarian, omit bacon and add 1 teaspoon smoked paprika to the seasonings. Increase salt to 1 teaspoon. Makes 6-8 servings as a main course, 8-10 as side dish.
**You can also make this a one pot meal by cooking rice in with the beans. At about the 50-60 minute mark when beans are beginning to turn tender, pour beans through a strainer reserving liquid in large bowl. Return beans to the pot. Measure liquid and add enough broth or water to make 2 ½ cups. Pour liquid back into pot. Add ½ teaspoon salt and the vinegar. Add in 1 ½ cups uncooked rice. Bring back to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender.
This recipe first appeared in 2012 in author’s column on Make It Allergy Free. Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.