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Black Beans

1 lb. black beans
1 medium to large onion
1 medium green pepper
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp salt
pepper to taste
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
2 bay leaves
12 green olives

Procedure to soften beans: Look through beans and discard any
rocks and ugly beans.

Using a pressure cooker (best method) - put the beans in the pot
(spread them on the bottom) and add enough water to have 2 fingers
of water over the beans. Add a big slice of the green pepper.
Cover and cook for 20 minutes (this is 20 minutes after the pressure
cap starts rocking)

Without pressure cooker - The night before, put beans in a pot and
cover with water just as in the pressure cooker method. Let sit
overnight. Add a big slice of green pepper and boil covered for
about 2 hours until softened.

After beans are softened: Sautee chopped onions, crushed garlic,
chopped peppers in olive oil. Add the sauteed mixture, pepper,
oregano, bay leaves and salt to beans.

Cover (if you're using pressure cooker don't cook in pressure, just
cover the pot without tightening the cover like a normal pot) and
boil at low to medium heat for 1/2 hour. Don't let it full boil,
it has to be inbetween simmering and boiling.

Add the olives and cook for 15 to 30 minutes more uncovered, until
it reaches the consistency you want. Some people like the water to
thicken more than others, but keep in mind that it will always
thicken more after cooked and settled.

A couple minutes before they are done, add sugar, vinegar and more
salt if desired. Cook for a couple more minutes. You will have to
taste for salt as you cook them, but for 1lb., 2 tsp should be
enough.

If you want to double the recipe, you don't need to double the
olive oil, just add enough to be able to sautee the ingredients.
You also don't need to double the olives. You will probably need
more than double the salt. And for each lb. of beans you need 2
fingers of water over the beans (so 4 fingers for 2 lbs.).

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