Mexican-American cookbook author Edgar Castrejón often serves this with rice and a chickpea stew, but it’s so hearty that it can easily be a meal in itself. Castrejón writes that he learned how to make these beans from his partner’s Colombian mother, who told him, “Without her, it’s not a real party.” Feel free to use beans that you cooked with dried beans; the dish becomes even richer and spicier.
Active time: 25 minutes; Total time: 50 minutes
Notes on storage: The beans can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 3 months.
Servings: 2 – 3 4 – 6 8 – 12 12 – 18
4 – 6
Tested size: 4-6 servings; makes 8 cups
2 tablespoons of avocado, sunflower or other vegetable oil
1 large white onion (12 ounces), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 small russet potatoes (5 ounces total), scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 (15-ounce) cans of black beans, one drained and one not drained (or 3 cups of homemade beans plus 1/2 cup of cooking liquid)
2 Roma tomatoes (7 ounces total), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 large green or light yellow plantain, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup low-sodium or homemade vegetable broth (see corresponding recipe)
2 teaspoons of ground cumin
2 teaspoons of garlic powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon fine sea or table salt, plus more to taste
In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 5 to 6 minutes until translucent. Add the potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until they take on some color, about 4 minutes. Add the beans and their liquid, tomatoes, plantains, broth, cumin, garlic powder, paprika and salt.
Turn up the heat to bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to medium-low, cover, and cook until the potatoes and plantains are tender, 20-25 minutes. Season to taste and, if necessary, season with more salt. Serve hot.
Adapted from “Advantage” by Edgar Castrejón (Ten Speed Press, 2021).
Tested by Joe Yonan.
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