Red Beans With Dominican-Style Sazón

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Adapted from “Viva Vegan” by Terry Hope Romero
Serves 6-8. Freezes well, and tastes great reheated!

These red beans have a lively tropical flavor, thanks to a Dominican-sytle sofrito known as sazón, typically made with tons of finely chopped fresh sweet peppers, herbs and vegetables. A little bit of fresh orange juice provides a sweet tangy twist, but leave it out if you prefer less “fruity” beans.

1 pound dried red beans (such as Dominican red, Roman, or kidney), cooked and drained(or three cans 15 ounce cans red beans, drained)

Sazón
½ large green bell pepper, seeded
½ large red bell pepper, seeded
1 Cubanelle or yellow bell pepper, seeded
1 small yellow or white onion
6 cloves garlic
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, lightly packed
1 stalk celery
½ cup flat-leaf (Italian) parsley leaves, lightly packed, thick stems removed
2 tablespoons white or red wine viengar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon hot sauce, or to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil
¾ cup water
¼ cup orange juice (optional; replace with water, if desired)
freshly ground pepper and salt.

Make the Sazón: Chop the peppers, onions, garlic, cilantro, celery and parsley into pieces small enough to lightly pack into your food processor bowl. Pulse until very fine, along with the vinegar, oregano, cumin, coriander, and hot sauce. (Do this in two or more batches if it doesn’t all fit at once).

Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add the Sazón and saute for 12 to 14 minutes, stirring constantly , until the color darkens and the mixture reduces by about a third. Stir in the beans, wather, orange juice, freshly ground pepper, and salt.

Bring the mixture to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, and partially cover. Cook for 30 to 35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until your desired consistency is reached. Add up to ½ cup of water to the beans if they appear too dry during the cooking, or continue to cook them for saucier, less soupy beans.

Serve hot with any flavored or plain white or brown rice.