Black Beans and Rice

This recipe is based on one from Cook’s Illustrated for Cuban-style Black Beans and Rice. They start with dried black beans. Since I’m using canned beans I needed adjust a few things to keep the great flavor. I also tend to make a vegetarian version of this dish.

Confession time… I have yet to make a bean dish from dried beans that didn’t taste not quite right. I’m willing to risk it when I’m just cooking for Ted and I however when company is coming I want some certainty in my ingredients. Thus I turn to canned beans. Properly rinsed they work great. A quick substitution for dried beans is four 19.5 oz. cans of beans equals 1 pound of dried beans.

My husband, who is not a fan of black beans, adores this dish. Your mileage may very.

Black Beans and Rice
Servings: 8 to 10 as a side dish
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 70 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 large green bell peppers, roughly cut into ~2″ pieces
  • 1/2 large onion, roughly cut into ~2″ pieces
  • 4 tsp. teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. minced fresh oregano leaves
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. ground chipotle
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups long grain white rice
  • 4 19.5 oz cans Goya black beans, thoroughly rinsed
  • 2 cups veggie broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp. tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 medium scallions, sliced thin
  • 1 lime, cut into 8 wedges

Directions:

  1. Adjust oven racks so that your Dutch oven will fit and heat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Put the rice in large fine-mesh strainer and rinse under cold running water until water runs clear, 3-5 minutes. Shake strainer vigorously to remove excess water; set rice aside.
  3. Place the pepper & onion in a food processor and pulse until you get 1/4″ pieces.
  4. Heat the Dutch oven with 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add the pepper and onion mixture, cumin and oregano and cook until the vegetables begin to soften, 8-10 minutes.
  5. Add the minced garlic, tomato paste and chipotle powder. Stir frequently until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add rice and stir to coat, about 30 seconds. Stir in beans, veggie broth, water, and vinegar. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to simmer. Cover and transfer to oven. Bake until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, about 30 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and fluff with fork. If you wish to hold this dish before service remove the cover and place a clean cloth towel over the top of the pot. Place the cover back on top to secure the towel. The towel will present any steam from condensing and dripping onto the rice.
  7. Serve with scallions & lime wedges on the side.

Note
Rinsing the rice seems to make a big difference in the end product. When I haven’t bothered to rinse the rice it seems to stick together much more resulting in a more clumpy end product.

When I am making a non-vegetarian version of this dish I use chicken broth in place of the veggie broth.  I also cook 6-8 oz. of salt pork, which is cut into 1/4″ cubes, prior to cooking the peppers & onions.  Try to use lean salt pork so you get more meat and less fat.

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