Cuban Black Beans



Makes 6 to 8 servings

1 lb.. Black Beans, washed
1 tbls. Oregano, dried
1 whole Onion, chopped
3 cloves Garlic, crushed
1 whole Green Bell Pepper, chopped
¼ cup Balsamic Vinegar
2 Bay leaves
3 cups Stock, ham, beef or chicken
1-1/2 tsp. Paprika Salt and pepper to taste
1-1/2 tsp. Cumin
*Optional, 1 or 2 minced hot green chili peppers

Rinse and pick through beans then soak over night or quick soak by bringing 4 qt. of lightly salted water to a boil, add beans and remove from heat. Allow beans to soak for 2 hours. Drain and rinse beans, return to pot add stock, Bay leaves, Paprika, Oregano, Cumin, Garlic, 1/8th cup of the vinegar, and enough water to cover the contents of the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to slow simmer, cover and cook for 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Check every ½ hour, stir and add water as needed to keep contents covered.
In a separate skillet, season onions and peppers with salt and pepper, sauté on high for 3 minutes add 1 cup of water reduce heat to low, cover and cook till tender. Remove from heat and set aside until beans are done.
When beans are done add remaining vinegar, cooked peppers and onions. Cook for 10 more minutes to allow vinegar flavors to mellow and blend, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Special note: These dishes always taste better the day after which makes it an excellent "make ahead" dish.

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