Sous Vide Cuban Black Beans
Why This Recipe Works
For our take on Cuban black beans, we cooked the beans for an extended period of time in a solution of baking soda, salt, and water. This moderately alkaline environment sped up the deterioration of each bean's pectin-rich exterior, leading to softer, creamier beans more quickly. Taking advantage of the extended cooking time, we decided to throw in a ham hock, which broke down beautifully over the 20-plus hours of cooking. The rendered fat gave body to the cooking liquid and smokiness and shine to the beans. To finish the dish, we mashed some of the beans with bean cooking liquid and a sofrito of onion and bell pepper. We then stirred this in with the rest of the beans, plenty of lime juice, and the shredded ham hock. These beans are hearty and satisfying and sure to get you through the tough winter months.