Recipe by Chuckwagon
A hearty, flavor packed dish that is guaranteed to reduce the talk down to umm’s and ahh's with allot of spoon to bowl clacking going on between. Inspired by many previous Cuban dishes, I created this "out of the blue” and decided I had better write this one down now. If your on a tight budget as I am but demand good eats, you will appreciate the bang you get for your peso.. I mean dollar. Cheers!
- 14 ounces dried black beans, medium sized bag, soak and drained twice
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 celery ribs, chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh cilantro
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons dried chipotle powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon instant minced garlic or 3 fresh garlic cloves
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 bay leaves
- kosher salt
- 1 lime, juice of
- 1⁄2 teaspoon lime rind
- 12 ounces chicken stock, canned ok
- 2 -3 smoked ham hocks
- 1 lb cajun sausage
- Cook sausage with 1/2 cup water in large heavy bottomed pot that the beans will be cooked in, allow water to dissipate and sausage to brown until you have a good fond going on in the pan. Once you have a good caramelized pan, remove the sausage allow to cool and fridge them.
- Drain grease and replace with tablespoon of a light flavored oil and saute/brown your onion - salt, add celery - salt, all spices and saute till translucent - avoid burning your fond! Add stock to deglaze pan.
- Add ham hocks (note: These tend to shed bone shards, avoid stirring once these are in the mix. Remove them after cooking is complete and pull the meat off the bone on a separate plate. Add the meat back into the mix).
- Add beans.
- Add enough water to just cover beans/ham hocks bring the party to a boil then reduce heat and cook until beans are soft. I used a pressure cooker, the whole meal was done in 30 minutes -- with that said, only allow pressure to get it's initial burst of steam then bring down the heat to a low simmer -- beans can foam up and clog your cooker - always monitor this process.).
- While awaiting the beans to soften, prep lime and the lime rind, cut sausage into bite size chunks - taste sausage for heat and adjust to your preference. consider some cayenne to the mix. The Chipotle pepper does provide a subtle heat that will make your forhead sweat but no significant affect to the tongue.
- Once the beans are cooked, add remaining ingredients and simmer another 10 minutes. I like my beans a bit soupy so I choose not to thicken it. To help thicken the dish, food process 1/3 of the beans into a paste then reincorperate them.
- Serve over rice, perhaps corn bread or fried plantains.
- chopped red bell pepper & Scallions.