Black Beans and Brown Rice with Achiote

December 01, 2012

Black Beans with Brown Rice and Achiote

Beans and Rice is a classic Latin American comfort food dish to accompany nearly any meat or fish.  It's even a great snack on its own.  Much like Chilaquiles, there are thousands of ways to make beans and rice whether you're in the Caribbean and use chopped coconut or in Santiago and use green olives.

This is my take on a traditional Mexican version of Beans and Rice.  Instead of white rice, I prefer brown.  And rather than pinto beans, I prefer black.  Other traditional flavors like cilantro and garlic are abundant.  Another interesting twist is using Achiote paste.  The paste is traditionally mixed with oil and used to marinate meats.  I like to mix it in with stock and use it to make the final soup.  It adds a really unique flavor, much like a sofrito.



The stock/sofrito mix takes the place of using either soaking water from dried beans or the goopy mix you find in a can of beans.  Canned beans are much quicker and easier than dried beans.  They take less time and are ready to go right now.  The problem with the goop in those cans is that it is laden with sodium.  Rinse the beans thoroughly

Chopped Beans and Rice Ingredients
Chopped Beans and Rice Ingredients

Beans and Rice Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 Green Pepper
  • 1 Red Pepper
  • 1 Onion
  • 3 cans Black Beans
  • 2 cups Brown Rice
  • 1 cup Chicken Stock
  • 2 tablespoons Chopped Cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon Achiote paste
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil


Directions

  • If you have a separate rice cooker, begin cooking the 2 cups of uncooked rice
  • In a large stockpot, saute the onion over medium heat in the olive oil for about 5 minutes until the onion softens
  • Add the red and green peppers and cook for another 2-3 minutes until they have also softened.  Season as necessary
  • Add 1 of the 3 cans of drained beans to the pot and mash with a potato masher into a coarse paste. Mix with the onions and peppers
  • Add the remaining 2 cups of black beans  and integrate




  • After 1-2 minutes of cooking the beans with the onion and peppers, add the garlic.  I like to add raw garlic last so that the flavor doesn't get cooked out too early
  • Give the garlic about 30 seconds and then add the stock & achiote mixture
  • Simmer this over medium low heat for about hour to bring all of the flavors together
  • To serve, either pour the beans over the rice - or pour the rice directly into the stockpot and bring them all together.  Be sure to check your seasoning along the way and salt/pepper as needed



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