Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Frijoles con Tocineta (Colombian Red Beans with bacon)

Beans are one the most important dishes in the Latin America Cuisine. From the re-fried beans in Mexico, to the black cuban beans, every country has a flag dish made with beans. In Colombia specially in the Andean regions these are eaten everyday or at least once a week and the preparation varies from region to region. This recipe is the one from the Valle del Cauca region and believe me, it is delicious, I've made it for people that don't like beans and they licked their plates.


2 cups red or kidney dry beans
1/4 of a medium pumpkin
1 green plantain
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 beef bouillon cube
Salt and pepper to taste.


5 slices of bacon chopped
1 cup minced green onion
1 cup diced tomatoes
1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 adobo Goya or Triguisar (color)

Place the beans in a bowl and wash them carefully. Pour water to cover them and let them soak overnight.

Peel the plantain and with the help of a spoon carve small chunks or flakes, set aside.

Place the beans and the soaking water in a pressure cooker, with the onion cut in half, the garlic cloves, the pumpkin seeded but with the skin on, the plantain and the beef bouillon and cook for 30 minutes. If using a regular pot cook until the beans are tender approximately 1 1/2 hours.

Remove the pumpkin, onion, and garlic cloves and let cool. Remove the skin of the pumpkin, it will peel off very easily. And place all these in a blender with 1/4 cup of the cooking water and a few tablespoon of the cooked beans to make a cream.

Add this cream to the beans, add salt and pepper and cook for another 10 minutes in low heat until they thicken. The consistency has to be creamy, not too runny.


Place the bacon in a small saute pan and fry until crispy. Remove and add to the beans.
In the same pan with the fat from the bacon, fry the green onion and the garlic for 3 minutes in medium heat. Add the dice tomatoes, the tomato paste, cumin, adobo and a pinch of salt and cook for 5 minutes until most of the water has evaporated.

Serve the beans on a soup dish and pour some of the sofrito on top. Serve with rice, chicharrones and or powdered beef.

All recipes are on Petitchef