Yucatan Black Bean Dinner

Recipe by Codychop
READY IN: 4hrs




  • The Beans: Rinse the beans, then scoop them into a large (6-quart) pot (preferably a Dutch oven or Mexican earthenware olla) and add 2 quarts water.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered for 1 hour.
  • The Pork: While the beans are cooking, sprinkle the pork liberally with salt.
  • In a very large (12-inch) skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the lard or oil over medium-high, and brown the pork on all sides in an uncrowded layer—it’ll take about 10 minutes. (With a smaller skillet you’ll have to brown the pork in 2 batches.)
  • Remove the pork to a plate and set the pan aside.
  • When the beans have cooked an hour, add the pork to the pot, along with more water, if necessary, so that everything is submerged.
  • Partially cover the pot and continue simmering, until meat and beans are tender, about an hour more.
  • The Tomato-Habanero Sauce: Return the pork-frying skillet to medium heat and drizzle in a little more lard or oil, if necessary, to coat the bottom.
  • Add half of the sliced onion and fry until golden, about 7 minutes.
  • In a blender, coarsely puree the tomatoes and the juices.
  • Now, either cut a slit in the side of the habanero(s)—this will give you some habanero fruity flavor without much heat—or cut the habanero(s) in half.
  • Add to the onions along with the tomato puree, then simmer, partially covered, stirring often for 10 minutes or so, until reduced to the consistency of a thick sauce (it shouldn’t be dry).
  • Taste and season with salt, usually 1 teaspoon.
  • Finishing the beans: When the beans are tender, scrape half the tomato sauce into them, add a little more water to the pot, if necessary, to ensure that the pork and beans are nicely covered with liquid.
  • Taste and season the beans with salt, usually about 1 ½ teaspoons.
  • With a large spoon, carefully remove the pork from the beans and transfer it to an ovenproof dish, cover with foil and keep warm in a low oven.
  • Pour the beans into a colander set over a large bowl, return the beans to the pot and measure 2 ½ cups of the broth into a saucepan to use for the rice.
  • Return the remaining bean broth to the beans.
  • There should still be enough broth to yield somewhat soupy beans; if not add more water.
  • The rice: Add ½ teaspoon salt to the pan of bean broth and set over medium heat.
  • In a medium-size (3-quart) saucepan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of the lard or oil over medium.
  • Add the rice and remaining onion and cook, stirring regularly, until the rice turns from translucent to milky-white, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the garlic and cook a minute longer, then pour in the hot bean broth.
  • Stir once, scrape down any rice kernels clinging to the side of the pan, cover and cook over medium-low for about 15 minutes; uncover and check a grain of rice—it should be nearly cooked through.
  • If the rice is just about ready, turn off the heat, re-cover and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes longer to complete the cooking.
  • If the rice seems far from done, continue cooking for 5 minutes or so, retest, then turn off the heat and let stand for a few minutes more.
  • Serving: When you’re ready to serve, reheat the tomato sauce and remove the habanero chilies.
  • Ladle the beans into six small bowls.
  • Spoon the rice onto each of 6 large warm dinner plate and nestle the pork in the center.
  • Spoon a little of the warm sauce onto one side of each plate.
  • Onto the other side, arrange a few slices of avocado.
  • Garnish with sprigs of cilantro.
  • Serve right away, passing the lime wedges and chopped xnipec salsa, if you wish.
  • •To make about a cup of xnipec salsa:
  • ½ small red onion, finely chopped.
  • 1 tablespoons fresh lime or sour orange juice.
  • 6 radishes, chopped into small dice or matchsticks.
  • ½ fresh habanero chili, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped.
  • A dozen or so large sprigs of cilantro, chopped.
  • Salt, about ½ teaspoon.
  • Scoop the onion into a strainer and rinse under cold water. Shake off as much water as possible, then transfer to a small bowl and stir in the juice. Add the remaining ingredients, season with salt, usually about ½ teaspoon, and it’s ready.