Black beans and rice along with pork chops: a typical Latin American or Caribbean meal that is rich in flavors, and also nutritious. This is by far one of my favorite comfort foods. The Spanish word for pork chops is "chuletas." My husband, just to kid around pronounces it "shoo letha", which he says sounds like shoe leather! He is just kidding of course, he actually loves them. I have two versions of black beans and rice: A quick microwave version when you are in a hurry to get dinner on the table. The second version is still fairly quick but you have to cook up some bacon and onions before adding in the beans and other ingredients. The bacon version is with the extra effort. Trust me, bacon is really worth it!
This meal is easy to prepare, especially if you have a rice cooker. If you don't own either, don't worry, you can still make it in quickly. This is one of my go to's when I'm pressed for time. Who isn't pressed for time these days?
Now, I would like to begin by saying that every Latin American household I have dined in has their favorite way of preparing/seasoning black beans and pork chops. The black beans recipe on this blog, is one that I have been tweaking over the last 10 years or so.
Cooking black beans:
I also want to share with you that as a child I did not like black beans! Yup, that's right, I didn't. I learned to like them in my 20's. Life has a sense of humor, and now black beans are one of my favorite things to eat. When making black beans, I always season them with my homemade recaito and sofrito which I keep frozen in ice cube trays ready to go. I also use the canned black beans because it cuts down on the cooking time considerably. My black bean recipe below is my super fast one, made in the microwave. If you have some time I have a stove top version too. I like to take two slices of bacon cut into small pieces and about ½ cup of finely chopped onion. Sauté them in a sauce pan until the bacon is just cooked and the onions are translucent. Add the beans and other ingredients listed below and simmer until you are ready to serve.
Pork chop seasoning:
I prefer to use the thin pork chops because they cook faster and in my opinion will not dry out. They key seasoning here is Adobo, the seasoning of choice for most Latin American and Caribbean dishes. In Spanish adobo is basically the word for a seasoning or marinade. It consists of a mixture of spices, namely salt, cumin and pepper. Some variations contain herbs like cilantro, and/or oregano. Someday I hope to brand my own adobo blend, but for the time being I use Goya which makes a flavorful and affordable product. If you love Latin food then you have to try some of my all time favorite dishes or bookmark them for later.
Step by step photos:
- Gather all your ingredients and have them measured, chopped and ready to go.
- Heat a sauce pan on medium heat and cook the diced bacon until just crispy around the edges. Add the chopped onion and cook until translucent stirring frequently.
- Add the recaito and sofrito then continue to sauté and stir until fragrant. (About 1 minute.)
- Pour in the black beans and stir well.
- Stir in the cumin, oregano and chili powder.
- Pour in just enough water just enough water to cover the beans. This is about 1.5 cups.
- Turn the heat to low and stir occasionally. For the fast microwave version black beans: Omit the bacon and onions then place the black beans, sofrito, recaito, cumin, oregano, chili powder in a microwave safe bowl. Add enough water to cover the beans. Microwave on high power for 2 minutes. Set aside covered for 5 minutes. Uncover and stir when ready to serve. Make the rice according to package instructions.
- Place the pork chops in a glass or ceramic dish. Sprinkle with adobo seasoning.
- Coat both sides of the pork chops and let them sit for about 5 minutes.
- Place the pork chops (chuletas) in a skillet on medium-high heat. Cook on each side for about 2 minutes on each side. They should reach 145°F internal temperature. The cooking time can vary depending on the thickness of the chops. I like the thin ¼ inch chops for this dish.
Frequently asked questions:
- How long can I store the black beans and rice in the refrigerator? Allow the rice and beans to cool separately then store them in air tight container for 3-5 days in the refrigerator. Rice can be stored in the refrigerator for 4-6 days in a sealed container.
- Can I freeze the black beans? Yes, if you properly store the cooked black beans in an airtight container they will store nicely for up to 6 months.
- What is the best way to store the pork chops? You can store the cooked pork chops after they are completely cooled in the refrigerator for 3-4 days in sealed container.
- Can the pork chops be frozen? Yes, store them in freezer bags or freezer paper for 2-3 months for best quality.
- What other meat goes with black beans and rice? You can cut thin strips of chicken and season with adobo and cook the same way as the pork. The chicken should have an internal temperature on 165°F. You can also serve bistec encebollado (steak with onions) with the black beans and rice.
Here are some of the most popular ethnic dishes, their history and ingredients for you to make at home.
Mexican Pork Carnitas: Make this in the slow cooker and then broil for crispy goodness.
Cuban Ropa Vieja: A true comfort food of slow cooked beef served over rice. This goes well with the black beans too!
Black Beans and Rice with Adobo Pork Chops Recipe
Black beans and rice is a classic Latin American dinner. It is popular to serve with pan seared pork chops or chuletas The pork uses adobo seasoning and the beans have a combination of sofrito and recaito for a truly authentic meal popular in Cuba and many other Latin countries including my home country of Panama.
- 8 pork chops small and thinly sliced
- 1 Tbsp adobo
- 1 Tbsp canola oil
Prepare the black beans:
In a sauce pan on medium heat cooked the diced bacon until just about crispy on the edges.
Add the onion and cook until translucent, stirring frequently.
Add the recaito and sofrito then continue to sauté and stir until fragrant. About 1 minute. Stir in the black bean until well combined.
Add the cumin, oregano, chili powder and just enough water to cover the beans. (Approximately 1.5 cups.) Turn the heat to low and simmer for another 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Simmer until the sauce thickens and add salt to taste.
After 5 minutes you can turn off the heat and keep covered until ready to serve.
Prepare the rice:
If using a rice cooker, follow rice cooker instructions. Be sure to rinse the rice.
Prepare the pork chops:
Place pork chops in a rectangular Pyrex dish and sprinkle evenly on both sides with the adobo seasoning. Let them sit for about 5 minutes.
Cook on a hot skillet for about 2 minutes on each side, until they are brown. They should reach an internal temperature of 145° F.
- *You can serve the dish with lime wedges, they are a nice accent to the pork.
Fast microwave black beans version:
Omit the bacon and onions then place the black beans, sofrito, recaito, cumin, oregano, chili powder in a microwave safe bowl.
Add enough water to cover the beans. Microwave on high power for 2 minutes. Set aside for 5 minutes covered. Uncover and stir when ready to serve.