Adapted from a Puerto Rican Recipe (thanks Claudia!!)
My oldest friend Claudia taught me this recipe (sort of) when we were in college - and it's evolved over time into one of our favorites...
1 medium onion, quartered
1 green bell pepper, quartered
2-4 cloves garlic (depending on size and preference)
1 large ham steak
3 cans pinto beans
1 can tomato sauce (small can)
salt & pepper
In a blender - add the onion, bell pepper and garlic blend until smooth... you may need to add a touch of water to get it blending. This mixture is called sofrito. (SO-Free-Toe)
Cut the ham steak into bite sized pieces, and add to a large soup pot. Brown the ham meat and render out some of the fat, about 5 minutes or so. Add 4-5 large spoonfuls of the sofrito to the pan and allow it to cook with the ham another minute or two.
Add the pinto beans and their juice into the pot along with the tomato sauce, add more sofrito to your taste preferences... John and I like a LOT of it. Then add salt & pepper to taste.
Serve over some rice - I've served it over brown rice and like it equally as well as white rice. Lately though I've been eating it without the rice - so it's good however you want to serve it.
You could serve with a salad and/or cornbread for a complete meal.