Many many years ago, I hosted a large backyard party of mostly college friends. Being young and ambitious, I decided to tackle an entire Latin-inspired menu from a recent Bon Appetit issue. I'm just tired thinking about that party prep. After convincing my mom to buy me a juicer - and then having her help me juice about 329 limes for various recipes, I regretted not keeping it simple. On the bright side, these beans were a standout and I make them again and again. I love black beans so this is a flavorful side to accompany anything even remotely Latin in flavor.
Cuban Black Beans
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
6 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon dried oregano
3 15- to 16-ounce cans black beans, rinsed, drained
3/4 cup canned vegetable broth or water
1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
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Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper, garlic and oregano and sauté until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add 1 cup of beans to pan. Using back of fork, mash beans coarsely. Add remaining beans, broth and vinegar and simmer until mixture thickens and flavors blend, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Mix in sugar, if desired. Season beans to taste with salt and pepper and serve.