Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Moros y Christianos (Moors and Christians)

I really like black beans, and when I came across this recipe by the Frugal Gourmet, a popular cook in the 1980's who was very popular for a while on PBS stations, I had to make it. This is a Cuban dish, the Moors are the black beans, while the Christians are represented by the white rice. I distinctly remember making this dish the first week of my new job 14 years ago.

Moors and Christians
1 pound dried black beans, rinsed
4 cups water
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 medium green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
1/4 pound salt pork, chopped
1 pound smoked ham hocks, cut into 1-1/2 inch pieces
2 tsp paprika
3 tsp ground cumin
2 bay leaves
4 cups chicken stock
1/4 tsp chili powder
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Wash the beans and place them in a 6-quart stove-top casserole with 4 cups water. Cover and boil 2 minutes; shut off the heat and let stand 1 hour. Add the remaining ingredients, except the vinegar and salt and pepper, cover and simmer 2 hours until the beans are tender. You may have to add a bit of fresh water to the pot as the beans should be just covered with water when you begin the second cooking stage. At completion, debone the hocks, chop up the meat and return it to the pot.

Add the vinegar and the salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer and heat all through.

Serve with white rice.

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