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Source: Rice

Carribean Black Beans & Rice
A traditional island favorite. Good as a meal and even better on the go.
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Serves: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
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1 1/3 cups black beans
1 tablespoon lard, or olive oil
2 ounces smoked ham, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup ripe plum tomatoes, peeled, cored and seeded
1 3/4 cups beef broth
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups medium grain white rice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Sprigs of fresh oregano, for garnish (optional)




In a medium-size nonreactive saucepan, combine the beans and water ro cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for one hour. Drain and set aside. Wipe saucepan dry.

In the same saucepan, heat the lard or oil over medium heat. Add the ham, onion, bell pepper and garlic and cook, stirring often for 5 minutes or until the onion is softened. Add the tomatoes and cook for about 3 minutes or until juices have evaporated. Add the beans, broth and 1 cup of water, oregano, bay leaf, and black pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, partially cover, and simmer for about 45 minutes, or until the beans are just tender. drain, reserving the cooking liquid. Set the beans aside. Discard the bay leaf.

Cook the rice following for steamed rice or according to the packaged directions.

Meanwhile, return the bean cooking liquid to the saucepan and stir in the vinegar. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until reduced to about 1 cup. Stir in the beans and cook for 1 minute or until heated through.

Mound the hot rice in a large shallow serving bowl, making a well in the center, and pour the beans into the well. Serve immediately, garnished with oregano sprigs if desired.





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