1lb of Blue Moro Beans
6 Cups of Water or vegetable or chicken stock
2-3 bay leaves
olive oil or lard
1 yellow onion chopped
3 cloves of garlic, diced
1/2 tsp cumin
3-4 Tablespoons of white vinegar (you can also use apple cider or wine vinegar)
1/4 Cup diced parsley
salt and pepper to taste
Soak the beans for several hours, drain. In a large, heavy-bottom pan over medium-high heat, bring them to boil with 6 cups of water (or stock), a couple bay leaves, and 1 tablespoon of oil. Oil reduces foaming while cooking. Cover and simmer over low until almost tender (check in 45min, but it’ll likely take about an hour). Remove from heat and reserve, covered. Alternately you can cook them in a pressure cooker. Add the same amount of water, the bay leaves, and bring up to temperature. From the point the cooker is pressurized, turn down to low and cook for 12 minutes longer. Let cool. Open and check to make sure they are almost tender. If not, put them back on and cook an additional 2-5 minutes.
In a separate pan, heat the oil over medium heat and cook the diced onion until translucent, stirring occasionally. Next, add the garlic and cook for another minute, stirring occasionally.
Mix the cooked onion and garlic into the cooked black beans. Add all the cumin, and the vinegar (While vinegar improves taste and reduces gassy elements, it should be added near the end of the cooking time because it may toughen the skins or retard cooking). Add ½ to 1 cup of water more, only if necessary. Cover and let simmer over medium-low heat for another 15 minutes or until tender (If black beans were cooked in a pressure cooker, add those ingredients and let simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, uncovered). Stir and remove the bay leaves. If desired, remove about 1 cup of cooked black beans and blend in a blender until smooth. Add back to the cooked beans and stir. This will make the beans thicker and tastier. Right before serving, sprinkle in the chopped cilantro or parsley. Salt to taste
Serve with rice and your favorite meat (or vegetable side),
** Sometimes I like to dice up a couple carrots and saute with the onions and seasonings. You can also dice a couple slices of bacon and add that too. This makes a great leftover. When I have it as a leftover, I fry the extra rice till it’s starting to brown, then add in beans till it suits my tastes. Occasionally flipping it to let the rice/bean mixture get crispy- Tastes a lot like the Costa Rican ‘Gallo Pinto’.
Photo credit: CSA member, Lea Krutel