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Black Beans and Rice

1 lb Dried Black Beans; (3 cups); Picked Over and Rinsed
8 c Water
6 Cloves Garlic; Crushed
2 tb Dried Oregano
1 Bay Leaf
2 ts Olive Oil
1 lg Onion; Chopped
1 Red Bell Pepper; Chopped
1 tb Ground Cumin
1 Jalapeno Pepper; Seeded and Chopped
2 tb Balsamic Vinegar
1 ts Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper to Taste
2 c Long-Grain White Rice
1 Lime; Sliced into 8 Wedges

Soak beans in cold water overnight making sure all beans are covered by 2-inches of water. Drain and rinse beans. Place in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Add 4 cups of water, garlic, oregano, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. cover and simmer until beans are tender, approximately 2-hours. Drain beans and return to the pot or Dutch oven.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and pepper, cook, stirring occasionally until softened for about 5-minutes. Add cumin and jalapeno, cook, stirring until softened for approximately 1-minute more. Stir onion mixture and vinegar into beans. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring remaining 4 cups of water and 1 tsp. salt to a boil. Add rice, cover and reduce heat to low. simmer until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, approximately 15 to 20-minutes. Serve the beans over the rice with lime wedges on the side of the serving dish.

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