So, I feel like being Colombian and not knowing how to make amazing frijoles is crazy… and it is (only if you really like to cook). For the longest time I was more than happy with the idea of opening a can of organic kidney beans, adding some Hogao, meat, plantains, rice and a fried egg and calling it a Bandeja Paisa. It was great, worked perfect for my limited time and made everybody happy. I would do the same for Chili, soups, salads, and all kinds of recipes. I always keep a good stock of a different variety of beans for emergencies, which is a great go to food. After I started my live videos on instagram, I started to get called out by a dear childhood friend. This wasn’t in a judgmental tone, which tends to be the norm on social media, but rather in a “c’monn you can do better” kind of tone. My excuse was always that I didn’t have a pressure cooker and always forgot to soak overnight.
This past christmas I got an amazing gift from my husband: The Breville Fast-Slow. My life changed. I finally had a pressure cooker and slow cooker in one, every women’s dream, right?. Just Kidding… but it was a great gift for someone that loves to cook and try different recipes. The pot is amazing, with tons of different preprogramed settings and features beyond the pressure and slow. I can sear, steam, reduce, saute, make rice, etc. All in no time, or to plan ahead. So, with this new amazing toy it was only a matter of time before I started to play with grains. I have made chili, with some hits and misses. I have made soups, garbanzos and lentils. But of course, I needed my Colombian recipe, so I went to my favorite Colombian cook book and started to adjust the recipe to the liking of our family. A couple of tries later and we have it!
Before I started to write this post, I did some research on the amazing world of beans. Of course, I am fascinated with history and beans are an intricate part of it.. Beans have been the basis of so many amazing civilizations. The cultural representation of many, across country lines and languages. It is also a food of the people. A representation of the working class and an element that unites all of us. You can have a Frijolada in Colombia, Arroz con Habiechuelas in the Caribbean, Frijoles refritos in Mexico, and some amazing hearty Chili in the US. All recipes have very authentic ingredients and they adjust wonderfully to different seasonings and compliments. But in the end it is a great source of nutrients and protein. I can go for hours discussing the cultural aspects of the different recipes, and I would love to. But this is probably not the space to do so. So, I hope you enjoy this recipe, which will probably be adjusted over time. Let me know what you think and I am open to comments and suggestions.
- 1/2 pound of Pork Belly (Optional)
- 2 cups of fresh kidney beans
- 2 cups of fresh diced tomatoes
- 2 cups of broth
- 1 yellow onion
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 carrot
- Presoak the beans for 4-8 hours
- Dice pork belly
- Mince garlic, small dice the yellow onion. Peel and shred the carrot
- In a dutch oven pot or a pressure cooker, sear the pork belly. Once brown remove from pan.
- Now its time to make the Hogao, or sofrito. In the same pan, using the fat from the pork, saute onion and garlic. Once the onion is translucent, add the tomatoes. Don't forget to season with salt and pepper. If you like cumin, add it to the mixture. Let it cook for a couple of minutes.
- Once the hogao is ready, add the beans. return pork to the pan and cover with broth.
- Close the pot and let it cook until beans are nice and tender.
- When the beans are ready, add the carrot to the pot and stir. Add salt and pepper. Allow the carrots to cook on low for 10-15 minutes.
- Serve with rice, avocado, fried pork belly or some tostones.
- You can definitely use canned beans and have this ready in 30 minutes, but if you have the time fresh beans are the best.
- Do not use canned tomatoes or you might end up with Chili.
- Homemade broth is always preferred. You can also just use water, but then you might need more seasoning.
- If you have a pressure cooker, it should only take around 20 minutes to cook.