Cuban Style Pork and Black Beans
A sweet reader, Tina, sent a version of this recipe to me. She got it from a local newspaper, in the Midwest, that hotbed of Cuban cooking. 😉 I’ve made it a couple of times, and made a few tweaks to it. It got a thumbs-up from everyone — that’s my hubby and our four kids who eat — the nursing baby didn’t comment! 😉 My oldest son said he could eat this “every day and be happy.”
Note about the heat: If you like really spicy food, use crushed red pepper instead of chili powder. If you like it medium-spicy, use New Mexico red chili powder. If you like it mildly spicy, use California chili powder. If you’re feeding kids, you may want to make it on the mild side, then add more zip next time! (The first time, I made it way too spicy, and we had to rinse off my 3yo’s food! But, everyone else liked it. I always make notes on my recipes, and my husband added: “Just right. 🙂 We all loved it! Audrey’s was washed off.”)
Note about the Crockpot: You need a minimum of a 5.5 qt Crockpot to make both the beans and pork together. If yours is smaller, try it with just the pork, and make the beans on the stovetop.
As with all of my recipes, this is gluten-free and casein-free (dairy-free) — GFCF.
Cuban-Style Pork and Black Beans
Makes 10-12 servings
For the black beans:
- 1 lb dried black beans
- 1 lg onion, chopped
- 1 lg red bell pepper, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 14.5 oz petite-diced tomatoes
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups vegetable bullion
- 2 T olive oil
- 2 T ground cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- Hot, cooked white rice, for serving
Soak beans overnight and discard soak water. (Or, bring them to a rolling boil for two minutes, remove from heat, cover and let stand for 1 hour, then drain.) Combine all ingredients except rice in Crockpot. If any beans are sticking out over the level of the water, push them down until they are submerged. (At this point, you can cook the beans, approximately 4½ hours on high until tender, or add the pork on top, which I highly recommend, and cook them together.)
For the pork:
- 5 lb pork shoulder, bone and skin removed, and cut in 2 in cubes, OR approximately 3.5 lbs boneless pork — a cut with some fat in it works best, like country style ribs.
- 9 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
- 4 tsp dried oregano (I used Mexican oregano)
- 1 T dried cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1-2 tsp ground chili powder, OR crushed red pepper (see note above)
- 2 dried bay leaves, finely crumbled
- 1 rounded T grated orange zest
- juice from 1/2 orange
- 2 T cider vinegar
- 2 T lime juice
- 2 large onions
In a large bowl, combine garlic, salt, oregano, cumin, black pepper, chili powder, bay leaves, orange zest, orange juice, vinegar, and lime juice to make a coarse paste. Add the pork pieces and toss until the pieces are evenly coated. Set aside to marinate for a bit.
Trim and cut the onions lengthwise into ¼” thick slices. In the Crockpot, on top of the beans (recipe above), arrange them in an even layer, “floating” them on top of the beans. (If not cooking the beans, just arrange them on the bottom of the Crockpot.)
Arrange the pork evenly on top of the onions. (Some pieces may be partially submerged in the liquid, but you don’t want them all submerged.) If you are NOT cooking the beans with the pork, pour over 1/3 cup broth or water.
Cover and cook on high about 4½ hours until the pork and black beans are tender. (I cooked on high for about 3½ hours, then on low for another 2 hours, as that suited our dinner time better!) Scoop out with a slotted spoon and serve over hot, cooked rice.
Cuban-Style Pork and Black Beans (trying to get a .pdf file to upload… not sure if it’s working!!)