• For the beans
    • 1 lb black beans, picked over and rinsed
    • 12 cups water
    • lb smoked ham hock, rinsed
    • 1 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and quartered
    • 1 medium onion, minced
    • 6 cloves medium garlic, minced
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1 ½ teaspoons table salt, or
    • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • For the sofrito
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 medium onion, minced
    • 1 small green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and minced
    • 8 cloves medium garlic, minced
    • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
    • ¾ teaspoon table salt, or
    • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
    • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • for the finish
    • 1 tablespoon lime juice
    • ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves, minced
    • Ground black pepper


1. For the beans: Bring all bean ingredients to boil over medium-high heat in heavy soup kettle or Dutch oven, skimming surface as scum rises. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, adding more water if cooking liquid reduces to level of beans, until tender but not splitting (taste several, as they cook unevenly), about 2 hours. Remove ham hock from beans. When cool enough to handle, remove ham from bone, discard bone and skin, and cut meat into bite-size pieces; set aside.
2. For the sofrito: Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet over medium heat; add ingredients from onion through salt; sauté until vegetables soften, 8 to 10 minutes. Add cumin; sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute longer.
3. To finish dish: Scoop 1 cup beans and 2 cups cooking liquid into pan with sofrito; mash beans with potato masher or fork until smooth. Simmer over medium heat until liquid is reduced and thickened, about 6 minutes. Return sofrito mixture and reserved meat to bean pot; simmer until beans are creamy and liquid thickens to sauce consistency, 15 to 20 minutes. Add lime juice; simmer 1 minute longer. Stir in cilantro, adjust seasoning with pepper and salt if necessary, and serve hot over fluffy white rice.


Serve with Fluffy White Rice. Garnish the dish with a spoonful of sour cream, minced red onion, and a dash or two of hot red pepper sauce.



MacGourmet downloadBlack Beans with Ham Hocks, Cilantro, and Lime. To import, drag image to your MacGourmet recipe box.


Cook's Illustrated