Food & Drink Magazine

Habichuelas Guisadas (Puerto Rican Stewed Beans)

By Jannese Torres @delishdlites

Habichuelas guisadas are the quintessential Puerto Rican side dish.  If there is white or yellow rice on your plate, there better be some habichuelas!  Otherwise, there’s a problem.  Seriously, don’t even try it.  This is one of those dishes that each cook puts their signature on, kind of like Italian gravy.  You know who made the beans just by eating them.  My Mami’s beans don’t taste like anyone else’s and neither do my Abuela’s.  I learned this the hard way when I went off to college and kept feeling like my beans were missing something whenever I made them in my dorm kitchen.  There’s a certain amount of love that flavors this dish when it’s made by Mami & Abuela, and you just can’t replicate that.  It never fails, making habichuelas always remind me of home.  

This recipe is simple to put together as long as you have some Puerto Rican staples in your pantry.  The beans are stewed in a tomato based broth that’s flavored with country ham, sofrito, sazon & adobo, plus some herbs and spices.  The result is a complex, earthy dish that goes great with rice, or even as a standalone meal.  One thing’s certain, make extra!  This dish freezes beautifully, and reheats perfectly in the microwave or on a stove top.

Ingredients
2 15oz. cans pinto, pink, or red beans, drained but not rinsed
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup sofrito
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup diced country ham
1 packet Sazon with annato & culantro
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 bay leaves
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup pumpkin or sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Adobo seasoning to taste

Directions

In a medium sized sauce pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the chopped ham and saute for 4-5 minutes, until it starts to caramelize.

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Add the sofrito and Sazon seasoning.  Saute for 2 minutes, until fragrant.

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Add the tomato sauce, oregano, bay leaves, cumin and a pinch of black pepper.  Saute for 1 minute.

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Add the chicken stock and beans.

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Finally, add the chopped pumpkin or sweet potato, and chopped cilantro.  Cover and bring the mixture to a boil.

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Once the mixture comes to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 25-30 minutes, to allow the flavors to meld and the pumpkin/sweet potato to cook.  Check for seasoning, and add Adobo seasoning if needed.

In case you noticed the difference in the colors of the beans, I used one can of pinto, and one can of pink beans.  Didn’t have 2 of a kind.  Don’t judge me.

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Serve over white or yellow rice, with an extra sprinkle of cilantro, if desired.

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Habichuelas Guisadas (Stewed Puerto Rican Beans)

Habichuelas Guisadas (Puerto Rican Stewed Beans)
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Habichuelas Guisadas (Stewed Puerto Rican Beans)

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup country ham (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup sofrito
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 packet Sazon seasoning (with annatto)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 dried leaves
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cans pinto, pink or red beans (15 oz. cans)
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin or sweet potato (peeled & chopped)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
  • Adobo seasoning, to taste (or salt and pepper)

Note

You can replace the adobo seasoning with salt and pepper.  Adobo has a fair amount of salt, so it's often used as a salt replacement, and flavor enhancer.

Directions

1. In a medium sized sauce pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped ham and saute for 4-5 minutes, until it starts to caramelize.

2. Add the sofrito and Sazon seasoning. Saute for 2 minutes, until fragrant.

3. Add the tomato sauce, oregano, bay leaves, cumin and a pinch of black pepper. Saute for 1 minute.

4. Add the chicken stock and beans, chopped pumpkin or sweet potato, and chopped cilantro. Cover and bring the mixture to a boil.

5. Once the mixture comes to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 25-30 minutes, to allow the flavors to meld and the pumpkin/sweet potato to cook. Check for seasoning, and add Adobo if needed.

6. Serve over white or yellow rice, with an extra sprinkle of cilantro, if desired.

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