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Click to expand…I got this Cuban Black Beans recipe online a long time ago and recently modified it for the Instant Pot. I’ve found that about 5-6 cups of water or other cooking liquid is just about right for a pound of beans. Easy enough to add more water, or boil off some of the extra if you don’t like the results on your first attempt.

In general the Instant Pot is incredible for beans. I used the traditional barbecue beans recipe at Serious Eats and just adjusted the liquid down from 8 cups to 6 – kind of just following the Instant Pot cooking modifications from the Smokey Barbecue Beans recipe they have. The traditional BBQ beans were a bit sweet for my tastes and I’d probably cut down the sugar (or honey, or ketchup) next time, but I still kept eating them. Way better than anything you get out of a can.

btw…I hate green bell peppers, but that would be traditional in Cuban Black Beans. These are a more "flavorful" version of Cuban Black Beans than some, so you might go lighter on the wine or vinegar if you want something a little more subtle, but they work for me.

Add 4 cups water, oregano, cumin, bay leaf, pepper, 1 tsp salt, and dried black beans. Stir to combine. If using add ham hock or bacon. Place lid on Instant Pot, and ensure pressure valve is in closed, back position. Select Bean/Chili button and let beans cook until cycle completes, 30 minutes.

It is a pressure cooker that has electronic settings and its own heating element. They have been around for a while. Pressure cookers are pressure cookers. They work best – read faster – on tougher pieces of meat that you would normally cook slow over a long period of time. Think pot roast.

What I use it for is to make brown rice, especially when you use stock or leftover meat juices after another kind of cook. When you cook brown rice on the stove, the hard shells split open and it looks kind of funny, like miniature baked potatoes that have been already smooshed open. It looks "normal" in a pressure cooker and the flavor using stock is remarkable.

I understand that making beans from dried is a real time saver. I think you would need some testing to get them correct, otherwise you have hard balls that you then need to turn it back on and that takes time to get it back up to temperature and pressure. Cook too long and you have a pile of mush.

I do not know whether they have gotten the process better but what I found out in mine is that if you use it and then want to use it right afterwards – browning the meat first is one way – the temperature sensor meets its setting and the heating element shuts down before you reach pressure. Then you are just making it into more of a crock pot. When I do this I just turn it on (manually, not programmed) and let the pressure get up – you know what you want through practice – and then I turn off the unit, turn it back on without opening it and then program it like normal. That way the pressure is where I want it to be.

Unfortunately, unless you cook a lot of Asian food and already have some of this stuff in your pantry, getting all the ingredients won’t be cheap. If you’re not up for making your own Fermented Mustard Greens or Chorizo, you could make the " Quicker Spicy Rice Cakes" found at the cookbooks’s co-author’s website. It goes without saying you’ll need to find a good Asian grocery, and even then Fermented Mustard Greens might be a hard get. You could try subbing regular old kimchi if you can’t find it. I also wouldn’t buy a bottle of Soju just for this recipe, but you could always drink it. Otherwise sub a tablespoon of vodka or even just water.

Finally, these rice cakes aren’t the puffed rice types you find near the granola bars. They’re a very different type of rice cake, more like a thick coin shaped rice noodle. When cooked right in this recipe, they’ll be crispy on the outside and chewy in the middle.

2. Make the Chorizo: In a small bowl, stir together the vinegar, soju, and garlic. Add the chili flakes, paprika, salt, pepper, cumin, and coriander, and stir until well blended. Transfer 2 tablespoons of this spice mixture to a large bowl and add the pork. (For spicier chorizo, you could add more spice mixture, but remember that the dish will be simmered in a chili paste–based sauce.) Using gloved hands—really, hands work best—blend the mixture until very well incorporated. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. (You can make the meat mixture up to 3 days before serving and store in the refrigerator, covered, until you add it to the pan.)

3. Cook the Rice Cakes: Drain the rice cakes. Decide whether you want to cook the dish in two batches by cooking in two pans at once, or by cooking in one pan, cleaning it out quickly, and repeating with the remaining ingredients. For cooking in one pan: Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil, then pat about half the chorizo into a ¾-inch-thick patty on one side of the pan. Add half the rice cakes to the rest of the pan, breaking up the rice cakes with your hands as you drop them in. (Depending on the size of your pan, you may need to add a bit more oil. There should be enough oil that you see it bubbling around the edges of the ingredients in the pan.) Cook for 3 minutes undisturbed, or until the chorizo is cooked on the bottom side and the rice cakes have begun to brown lightly. Turn all the ingredients, breaking up the rice cakes and chorizo a little with a wooden spoon and adding more oil, if necessary, to keep a thin layer across the bottom of the pan. Cook 3 minutes more. Add half the mustard greens, about half the sauce, and ½ cup of the water, stir to combine, and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened, the chorizo is cooked through, and the rice cakes begin to separate from each other. Divide between two Asian-style noodle bowls and serve immediately, garnished with half of the green onions. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.

Put the greens in a large bowl, sprinkle the coarse salt on top, and mix until well blended. Transfer the greens to a ziptop bag, pressing the air out as you close it, and refrigerate for 24 hours. The salt will draw excess water out of the greens.

In a medium saucepan, combine the water, salt, ginger, and turmeric. Bring to a boil, stirring until the salt has dissolved completely, then remove from the heat and let cool. (You can do this when you salt the greens and leave it covered on the counter overnight if you’d like.)

The next day, rinse the greens in three changes of fresh cold water and squeeze them dry. Pack into a quart-size container and pour the brine on top. Cover the greens and let them sit at room temperature (65 to 68 degrees F) for 5 to 7 full days. (You can taste along the way; it will begin to taste a little sour after the first 24 hours or so.) Transfer the greens to the refrigerator, where they will continue to ferment (but much more slowly). Use immediately, or refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.