Thursday, February 12, 2009

Cuban Black Beans and Rice

I made this recipe for company the other night. I have no idea if it is authentic or not, but it certainly is delicious and the leftovers are even better. It's super easy too. There are a lot of ingredients and it takes a little planning ahead and all day (but only because you're soaking beans), but hands-on time is about 10 minutes so in my mind this is a "simple supper". Serve it with a salad and dinner is served.
This recipe calls for epazote, which I had never heard of before. It is an herb traditionally used in Mexican cooking. I borrowed some from my Mexican neighbor who said that it can be hard to find (especially fresh), but you can get epazote at Penzeys and Mexican markets. She also said that with such a small amount it would be ok to omit without making too much of a difference in the taste.

Cuban Black Beans and Rice from Penzey's One Volume 3, Issue 5, 2009
1 pound dried black beans (about 2 cups)
12 cups water, divided
2/3 cup olive oil
1 cup red wine
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped (I used 1/2 green and 1/2 red)
4 cloves garlic, minded
1 whole bay leaf
1 T. dried Mexican Oregano
1 T. epazote
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. black pepper
1 T. salt
2 T. sugar
2 T. red wine vinegar
3-4 cups cooked rice
lime (optional)
cilantro (optional)
avocado (optional)
corn tortillas (optional)

1. Rinse the beans well, discarding any debris or floaters. Put the beans and half of the water (6 cups) in a large stockpot and soak for at least 5 hours or overnight. Just before cooking, drain and rinse the beans. Place in a pot with the remaining water (6 cups).

2. Add the olive oil, wine, onion, bell pepper, garlic, bay leaf, oregano, epazote, cumin, pepper, salt and sugar to the pot. Place the pot on the stove over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer covered, for 45 minutes or until the beans are soft. Add the red wine vinegar and simmer, uncovered , to thicken the beans until ready to serve, about 15 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Optional: mash some of the beans against the side of the pot with a spoon.

3. Serve with rice, lime, cilantro and corn tortillas.


Michelle said...

Thanks for the recipe Sharleen! I've been looking for a good beans and rice recipe. Robert loves beans and rice and always asks why I don't make it. It's because I don't have a good recipe. I'll give this one a try! (Do you have a pressure cooker? Robert got me one for my birthday. It is great for those times you want beans but forget to start planning for it the night before.)

Lisa said...

YUMMY!!!! I'm always looking for a good vegetarian recipe. Thanks for taking the time to post it. We will make it this weekend!