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Slow-Cooked Pork, Black Beans and Rice (al estilo de Cuba)

Posted by Peggy on February 27, 2012

Slow-Cooked Pork, Black Beans and Rice
Recipe: Slow-Cooked Pork, Black Beans and Rice (al estilo de Cuba)


  • 1 pound black beans
  • 2 pounds boneless pork shoulder (butt)*
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste (I used a 4 1/2 ounce tube double concentrated Amore tomato paste)
  • 3 cups beef or chicken stock
  • Chopped zest and juice from 1 juicy lime
  • Juice from 2 juicy oranges, chopped zest from 1 orange
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 heaping teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • 2 heaping tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/2-1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • Sofrito,** (optional, recipe below)
  • Cooked long-grain white rice


  1. Soak beans in water 8-24 hours. Drain and place in bottom of a slow-cooker.
  2. Liberally season all sides of pork with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high to high heat. Sear all sides of pork until golden brown; set aside.
  3. As pork browns, whisk tomato paste, stock, orange and lime zest and juices, cumin, oregano, cardamom, garlic and red pepper together and pour over beans; stir in onions. Place browned pork on top. Cover and cook on low 7-9 hours, or until beans are tender and pork may easily be pulled into shreds. (This can be made up to 24 hours in advance.)
  4. Before serving, stir in cilantro, serve with rice, and pass the sofrito, if using.

*I like to use bone-in shoulder (but) as the bone adds additional flavor. If you do this, however, you need a 3-3 1/2 pound bone-in piece of meat. As well, it will need additional cooking time and the beans may be tender before the pork is easily shredded. If you use bone-in, simply remove the but, spoon out the cooked beans, and return to but to the pot to cook until falling off the bone.

**SOFRITO: After I seared the pork, I deglazed the pan with 1/2 cup sherry, scraping off the brown bits. In the liquid, I sautéed 3 (assorted colored), finely diced bell peppers (3-4 cups) and 2 cups of finely diced onions. After the mixture cooked down, about 15 minutes, I added a heaping tablespoon of garlic and continued to cook an additional 5 minutes. I stirred chopped cilantro, kosher salt and red pepper flakes in the mixture to taste. (Keeps several days, refrigerated.) Diced tomatoes are also often used in sofrito. As well, peppers and onions are often put in the food processor so that the mixture is more of a sauce.

Time to soak beans: 12-24 hours

Active Time: 30 minutes

Slow Cook Time: 7-9 hours

Number of servings (yield): 10 servings with rice

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