Servings: 4

1 lb Beans, dried black
1 cup onion; chopped
1 tablespoon margarine or butter
4 cups water
1 beef bouillon cube
12 oz. ham, cooked lean
2 bay leaves

1/2 teaspoon thyme, dried leaf
1/2 teaspoon oregano, dried leaf
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pepper, dried whole red
1 cup pepper, green bell; chopped
1/3 cup dark rum (optional)
1 cup sour cream (optional)

Sort and soak beans overnight; drain and discard soak water. In a 4-quart pot, saute onion in butter or marg until tender but not browned. Add soaked beans, 4 cups water, bouillon cube, ham (cut into 4-6 chunks), bay leaves, thyme, oregano, salt & red pepper. Bring to boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer until beans are tender, 1 to 1-1/2 hour. Remove 1 cup beans from stew, mash in a bowl with potato masher or fork. Add mashed beans to stew; stir to thicken. Remove ham and dice. Remove bay leaves and red pepper, if used, and discard. Add diced meat, green pepper and rum (if desired) to beans. Cover and simmer 15 minutes.