Heat 1 tablespoon of water or stock in a large skillet (about 2 1/2 quarts), over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and red pepper, and cook for 6-8 minutes or until soft.
Move the vegetables to the side of the pan, and add the tomato paste to the center. Cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes.
Stir in the cumin, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder and rice, and mix everything together. Cook for 1-2 minutes
Add the tomatoes and sherry vinegar (or wine, if using), and deglaze the pan (scrape up any brown bits). Add the beans and the stock, and stir.
Bring the rice and bean mixture a boil, then cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 55-60 minutes, or until almost all of the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender. (It's okay if it's still a little moist.)
Give the beans and rice a gentle stir, then cover again and let rest for 5 minutes. The rice will absorb a little more liquid as it sits. Don't over stir, or the rice will become mushy.
Rice: like to use a California grown rice, especially for dishes where the grain with soak up the liquid in the pan, rather than cooking the rice in extra water and draining it. This is because brown rice can contain arsenic.(I can’t tell you how shocked I was when I learned this, thinking about how much brown rice I’ve eaten in my lifetime! Learn more about brown rice and arsenic in this video.) For this dish, I recommend a brand like Lundberg. Beans: I often double the beans in this recipe, so if you like your beans, go for it.