Black Beans

(Frijoles Negros)

  • 1 pound black beans
  • 1 smoked ham hock
  • 3 bay leaves
  • ½ cup recaito
  • salt and pepper to taste

Makes about 4 cups

Put the beans and ham hock in a medium saucepan and pour in enough water to cover them by 2 inches. Toss in the bay leaves and bring the water to a boil. Adjust the heat so the water is boiling gently and cook the beans, skimming off any foam that rises to the top, until tender, about 2 hours. Keep an eye on the beans; they should always be covered by liquid. When the liquid meets the level of the beans, top it off with a ½-inch or so of cold water.

In the last 30 minutes of cooking, ease up on the liquid you add and stir in the recaito; the goal is to have the beans barely covered with liquid by the time they’re tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


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