Frijoles Negros (Cuban Black Beans)

Ingredients
  • 1 pound dried black beans, rinsed and picked clean
  • 4 cups of water
  • ¼ cup sofrito
  • 2 smoked ham hocks
  • 1½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 packet sazon seasoning
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
Method

Stovetop Version

  1. Pour the dry beans into a strainer, and rinse them off in cold water. Pick through them to check for small stones, sticks or deformed beans.
  2. Pour the rinsed beans into a large pot, and cover them with 4 cups of water.
  3. Bring the beans to a boil, boil them for 2 minutes, and then turn them off.
  4. Allow the beans to soak for 1 hour.
  5. Once the beans have soaked for an hour (don't drain them), turn the stove back on, to a medium heat.
  6. Add the sofrito, ham hocks, cumin, oregano, Sazon and bay leaves into the beans.
  7. Pour in the chicken stock, and stir the mixture together to combine.
  8. Bring the beans to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low.
  9. Cover the pot and cook the beans for 2 hours, until they're tender.
  10. When the beans are done, add the vinegar, cilantro, and salt and pepper, to taste.

Crockpot Version

  1. Pour the dry beans into a strainer, and rinse them off in cold water. Pick through them to check for small stones, sticks or deformed beans.
  2. Soak the beans overnight in 4 cups of water, or pre-cook them using the quick soak method.
  3. Drain the beans and pour them into the slow cooker insert.
  4. Add the sofrito, ham hocks, cumin, oregano, Sazon and bay leaves into the beans.
  5. Pour in the chicken stock, and stir the mixture together to combine.
  6. Cook the beans on low for 8 hours, until tender.
  7. When the beans are done, add the vinegar, cilantro, and salt and pepper, to taste.