Make Ahead

Black Beans and Rum (for Poor Poets and Others)

March 21, 2016
2 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

I adapted this recipe from Ann Rogers' A Cookbook for Poor Poets and Others. I throw in dark, spiced rum at the end, but use what you have. Top individual bowls with torn parsley leaves and, in Rogers’ words, “gobs of sour cream.” Serve with baguette and butter if you swing that way (I do).

Make this vegetarian by replacing the hock with a knob of butter or good splash of oil and dried chipotle peppers or a teaspoon of smoked paprika. Leftovers make a pleasant burrito filling or platform for fried eggs. —Kate K

What You'll Need
  • 1 pound black beans, soaked
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 1 ham hock OR a knob of butter/spash of oil and 2 dried chipotle peppers or 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 adventurous splash of of hot sauce
  • 1/4 cup rum
  • sour cream
  • Parsley leaves, torn
  1. Throw the beans, onion, celery, hock (or butter plus smoky peppers), thyme, and salt in either a heavy, lidded pot or a pressure cooker. Add enough water or bean-soaking liquid to barely submerge the beans.
  2. Cover, bring to a boil, and simmer for about 2 hours on the stove until the beans are tender and the broth flavorful (You can certainly simmer longer, if you like and can wait). If pressure cooking, cook for forty minutes at pressure and, if you have time, let the pressure release naturally.
  3. Carefully remove the hock, if using. (If it has a lot of meat on it, let cool a little before picking it. Reserve meat for another use or add it right back to the beans.)
  4. Stir in the hot sauce, rum, and extra salt to your taste.
  5. Ladle into bowls and have each person top with sour cream and parsley as desired.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Änneken
  • Dave Martin
    Dave Martin
  • Amy B.
    Amy B.

3 Reviews

Dave M. April 13, 2018
We’ve been making this recipe for 40 years and it never disappoints. One of many simple hard-times recipes from Ann Rogers’ Cookbook for Poor Poets and Others. Not only gratifying, but it also brings back great memories of times we made do with less, but managed to be happy anyway.
Amy B. May 4, 2017
I liked this as a change from our typical Cuban Black Beans (with chillies, roasted red pepper, and cilantro). But I luhrve the Cuban Black Beans, so it's hard to say that this was better -- just different. The rum I used (inexpensive, non-spicy) gave it a metallic taste -- the sour cream helped a lot, but the parsley didn't add much. Maybe with a darker, spicier rum, and a little less of it. One nice thing -- cooked from start (soaking) to finish in our new Instant Pot and it was so easy. I'll definitely use that method in future for all black beans.
Änneken April 9, 2017
This recipe sounded great but it wasn't anything like that - unfortunately. The rum flavor was overwhelming and the sour cream and parsley didn't help balance it either. :(