Savory Black Beans and Rice Topped with Sour Cream and Fresh Pico
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Southern, Mexican
For the Beans
  • 1 lb dried black bean, picked through and washed (we prefer Camilia brand)
  • 1 medium sweet yellow onion, cut in half
  • 1 large sweet yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut in half, cored and seeded
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon of oil (coconut oil, olive oil) OR bacon grease
  • 1 bunch of green onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the Pico de Gallo
  • 1 small sweet yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 -5 ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 - 4 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt to taste
For the Beans
  1. In a large heavy pot – or a large glass mixing bowl – soak the beans overnight in cold water. Make sure the beans are covered by at least 3 inches of water.
  2. When ready to cook, add the halved onion, the garlic cloves, bay leaves, bell pepper, cumin and oregano to the pot. Remember to keep the soaking water! Bring the pot to a boil over high heat. Skim off any foam that rises to the surface.
  3. Reduce the heat, cover, and gently simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour. Add water as necessary to keep the beans covered. After an hour, remove the onion, the garlic, the bay leaves and the bell pepper with a slotted spoon and discard.
  4. In a heavy frying pan, heat oil or bacon grease over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, bell pepper and saute, stirring occasionally, until starting to brown. Add the minced garlic, stir, and saute for an additional minute. Add the contents of the frying pan to the black beans along with the red wine vinegar, the sugar, cayenne, and salt and black pepper. Cover and continue simmering the beans until soft, about another 20 minutes.
  5. Make rice according to package directions.
  6. Before serving, check the seasoning of the beans and make any necessary adjustments, adding salt, pepper, cayenne, cumin, oregano, or vinegar, if you see fit.
  7. Serve over rice in a bowl and top with a dollop of sour cream and fresh pico de gallo (see directions for the pico below).
For the Pico de Gallo
  1. Making pico de gallo is super-simple. Simply add all the ingredients to a glass mixing bowl. Taste and adjust seasoning (salt and lime juice) to taste.
  2. When chopping the jalapenos, you can reserve some of the seeds to add to the pico if you prefer a spicier pico.
  3. Pico is always better after sitting for a while, which gives all the flavors a chance to "marry." Feel free to cover the bowl and stick in the fridge for anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours.
Recipe by The Catholic Foodie at