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Beans and Rice - A Family Feast

We’re continuing the Mexican theme for a few more days by sharing our delicious recipe for Beans and Rice!   Beans and rice is often a side dish to many Mexican dishes, but this recipe is so hearty with chunks of smoked pork added to the beans and rice – it really can be a meal in and of itself!

Our beans and rice recipe is made using a small smoked pork shoulder – but to be more authentic, this dish should be made with Tasso ham.  Tasso is a traditional spicy and peppery version of smoked pork made from the shoulder butt.  Where we live in New England, trying to find Tasso ham is next to impossible – so we’ve adapted this recipe based on what we could find – but if you are able to find it, by all means, use Tasso!  (Meaty ham hocks are another possible substitute if that is all that you can find at the store.)

Beans and Rice - A Family Feast

This recipe for beans and rice uses dried beans that need to be soaked overnight – so allow yourself enough time as you make this recipe!  Canned beans may also be substituted.

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Beans and Rice - A Family Feast

Beans and Rice

  • Prep Time: 12 hours
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 mins
  • Total Time: 13 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6


  • ½ pound dry black beans
  • 2 tablespoons bacon fat
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 1 small jalapeno stemmed, seeded and minced
  • ½ cup diced celery
  • 2 medium cloves of garlic minced
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 small smoked shoulder (1 pound or less) cut into four pieces
  • 1 14-ounce can petite diced tomato (salsa also works quite well)
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • Scallions for garnish
  • Cilantro for garnish


  1. Soak beans overnight, uncovered and at room temperature in a sufficient amount of water to double the volume (1/2 pound of dry beans will yield one pound after being soaked overnight)
  2. In a medium to large Dutch oven, sauté the onions, pepper and celery in bacon fat over medium high heat for three minutes. Add garlic and cook for one more minute. Add all other ingredients except rice and garnishes. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
  3. Cook covered for 60 minutes or until beans are almost tender (larger black turtle beans may take more time than a smaller black pea bean so adjust liquid and time as needed). Remove the four pieces of smoked shoulder to a cutting board. Add rice to the pot, return cover and cook for 15 minutes then remove from heat and leave covered for 5 minutes.
  4. While rice is cooking and resting, cut smoked shoulder into small pieces and add to beans and rice once done.
  5. Serve garnished with chopped scallions and cilantro.

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  • Barb wrote:

    Could you please tell me how much to substitute canned beans for dried beans. I really don’t like working with dried beans. Love your bog & recipes!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Barb! A 1/2 pound of dry beans will yield about a pound of soaked beans so the equivalent should be about a can (14-16 ounces) of beans. The cooking process will vary too – you won’t need to cook the canned beans for as long as the dry beans. I’d suggest following the recipe, skipping the steps to cook the beans and add the canned beans at the very end. Hope that helps!

  • Nancy wrote:

    Good Morning! Tasso Ham can ususally be found at Sid-Wainer ( a gourmet outlet in New Bedford, MA). They also have a website. I find this to be on the pricey side though.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Nancy! We never thought to check there. Thanks for letting us know for the next time we make this recipe!

  • Medeja wrote:

    What a lovely comfort food!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you Medeja!

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