Black Beans and Rice

A Caribbean favorite

Serves 4 to 6


  • 1 pound dry black beans
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 1 beef bouillon cube
  • 1 pound ham shank with bone
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry pepper flakes
  • 1 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1/3 cup dark rum (optional)
  • 1 cup sour cream (optional)
  • 3 cups cooked rice

Rinse and drain beans. Discard damaged beans and any foreign material.
Cover beans with 6 cups water and boil for two minutes. Cover pot; soak for one to four hours. Discard soaking water.
Cut meat from ham bone into 3 or 4 large pieces. Saute’ onion in butter or margarine until soft and golden in a 4-quart pot. Add beans, 4 cups water, bouillon cube, ham shank bone and ham pieces, bay leaves, thyme, oregano, salt, and red pepper flakes; bring to boil
Reduce heat, cover pot, and simmer for 1 to 1-1/2 hours, or until beans are tender.
Discard bay leaves. Remove ham shank. Cut meat from bone and discard bone. Dice meat into bite-sized pieces and return to the pot.
Remove 1 cup beans from pot and mash with potato masher or fork. Return mashed beans to pot and stir to thicken.
Add diced meat, chopped green pepper and rum (if desired);cover and simmer 15 minutes.
Serve beans over rice. Top each serving with a dollop of sour cream (if desired).