Cuban-Style Black Bean and Rice Bowls

 

Ingredients

1 pound dried black beans
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons dried oregano, crushed between fingertips
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 large onion, diced
1 small green bell pepper, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
sea or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
for the bowls:
cooked rice
your choice of:
avocado/guacamole
sour cream
hot sauce
shredded cheese
diced tomatoes/salsa
tortilla chips 
 

Instructions
    Soak the black beans using one of the methods below before using.
    Stovetop Directions:
  1. Put beans, bay leaf, oregano, and 1 tablespoon of the oil into a large pot, then cover with cold water by 3″. Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, adding more water as needed to keep beans covered, until beans are very soft about 2 hours.
  2. Heat remaining oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat and add cumin, onions, green peppers and garlic. Saute until soft and onions translucent. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then add to beans. Continue cooking beans, stirring occasionally for 15-20 minutes, tasting and reseasoning as needed. For a super creamy texture remove a cup of the beans, smash them up and mix back in. Remove bay leaf before serving. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve with rice and your choice of toppings.
  3. Crockpot Directions:
  4. Add the beans, bay leaf, oregano, 1 tablespoon oil and enough water to cover the beans by 2″.
  5. Heat remaining oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat and add cumin, onions, green peppers and garlic, saute until soft and onions translucent. Add to beans.
  6. Cook on high 4-5 hours on high or 8 hours on low until beans are very soft. For a super creamy texture remove a cup of the beans, smash them up and mix back in. Remove bay leaf. Garnish with cilantro. Serve with rice and your choice of toppings.
  7. Quick Soak Method: Sort and rinse beans. Add to a large pot with 6-8 cups cold water, bring to a rapid boil and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 1 water. Drain and rinse before using.
    Long Soak Method: The night before sort through the dried beans and throw away any stones. Rinse under cold water and place in a pot with 6-8 cups of water and allow to soak overnight.* Drain and rinse before using.

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