By using canned beans, you can cut several cooking hours out of this delicious old-time favorite.
3 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 to 5 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb. ham or slab bacon (or a combination), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 to 4 sprigs cilantro, coarsely chopped
3 tbsp. tomato paste
2 cans (15 oz. each) black beans, undrained
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1. Rinse rice until water runs clear, then set aside. In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, ham, and cilantro and cook for 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and 2 tablespoons water and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add beans (with liquid from can) can salt. Cook and stir another 2 minutes.
2. Stir in rice and 5 1/4 cups water. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook for 25 minutes, stirring two or three times.
3. Reduce to a simmer and cook until all liquid has been absorbed and rice is fluffy, 25 to 30 minutes.