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Apr 24, 2007 06:55 PM

Quick Please! I have no vinegar, making black beans, really, really too late to go out!

What can I use to replace the white vinegar in my black bean recipie? I don't have white wine - I have red wine vinegar and rice wine vinegar - can I use those? Any thoughts? I have another half an hour until I have to add it!!!! Thanks :-) (Note my first attempt at my grandma's Cuban black beans) :-)

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  1. They're black beans? Throw in some red wine vinegar and maybe a bit of grated red onion.

    1. I would probably use the red wine. It has a similar strong flavor to the white wine, whereas the rice wine is much mellower in flavor.

      1. red wine vinegar will replace regular vinegar easily.

        6 Replies
        1. re: ennyl

          Thank you! I will definitely use that - I was worried that it would be too sweet but I'm really clueless about cooking! Thanks again! - and actually, on that note if anyone is still there- my grandmother's directions are to make a sofrito and add it to the beans after an hour of cooking - and then cook more - but is there supposed to be water still in the pot when I add the sofrito? It's supposed to cook another 45 minutes so I'm not sure - do I just add more water if it's gone? Thanks-

          1. re: sushieat

            I'm not an expert on black beans from scratch, but when it comes to deciding about water content, I always try to gauge how much is evaporating as it's cooking. For example, in your case, if it's supposed to cook another 45 minutes, you'll need some water in there so it does not dry out. Add it if the mixture is dry. If there is still water in there when you add the sofrito, remember that water will evaporate and leave you with what you started with (tomatoes, herbs, etc.).

            If you're at the end of a cooking cycle and there's more water than you need, simply up the heat a little and stir until the mixture is at the right consistency. It's not like salt or other ingredients where you can ruin a dish with too much or too little. Good luck!

            1. re: sushieat

              First, on the vinegar -

              You could go with either, or leave it out entirely. The flavor of the other ingredients will probably be strong enough that the vinegar will just be a subtle sour note. Red wine is more similar in acidity to white vinegar, but will add a little "Red wine" flavor, something fruity. Rice vinegar is more mellow, but is also more "neutral" - won't add another flavor. If you use rice wine vin., maybe increase the amount a tiny splash.

              What does it go in? I'm guessing the sofrito. I'd use the rice wine and cook it down a bit.

              Second, about the beans - If they don't have moisture, they will burn. If you are cooking them an hour, adding sofrito, and cooking another hour, do this over low-ish heat, just enough to keep the beans at a gentle simmer, and perhaps is they are drying out, keep the lid on the pot to keep moisture in. There doesn't have to be "water" in the pot, exactly, but it should be juicy / saucy. If it's getting dry, add a little water. Not too much, like 1/4/ or 1/2 cup at a time. If it stays dry, add more.

              Good luck!

              1. re: andytee

                Thanks everyone - I decided on the rice wine vinegar - added a bit more water - they smell so good! Hope they turn out well - Thanks again!

                1. re: sushieat

                  A good homeade sofrito will make anything good.

                  I'd love to see the recipe you used if you felt like writing it up.

                  1. re: andytee

                    I am so sorry but I have been sworn to secrecy on this one - my grandmother made my mother promise, and my mother made me promise (and now she's passed on so the guilt would be double!) :-) Check out what I think is called the Old Havana Cookbook (that may not be the title - it's a yellow hardback book) - it has an excellent recipe which I'm sure everyone would enjoy-

          2. I only use red wine vinegar in my black beans. This is how I was taught by my Cuban friends.