Brazilian Black Bean Stew
12 ounces dried black beans
8 cups water
2 large smoked ham hocks
4 cups reduced-chicken broth
1 1/2 cups chopped onions (3 medium)
3 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced*
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon finely shredded orange peel
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup dry sherry
1/4 cup snipped fresh cilantro
Hot cooked rice (optional)
Rinse beans. In a large saucepan combine beans and the water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 1 hour. (Or place beans in water in saucepan. Cover and let soak in a cool place overnight.) Drain and rinse beans. Place beans in a 4-quart slow cooker.
To slow cooker add ham hocks, broth, onions, jalapeno peppers, garlic, orange peel, orange juice, and sherry.
Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours. Transfer ham hocks to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, use two forks to pull ham away from bones into shreds. Discard bones; return shredded ham to slow cooker. Stir in cilantro.
If desired, serve stew over hot cooked rice