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Cuban Black Beans

Submitted by: JustRightMenus


I used to go to a Cuban restaurant now and then, and these beans taste just like the ones they served.

One note - the recipe below has only 1 pound of black beans. The original said to use 2... but I missed that and made this with just 1 and loved every bite of it! So, to make more, you may only need to double the beans, not everything else.

Servings: 6-8

Categories: beans, cuban

From the kitchen of:

Gregory Poulten on chow.com


Day One Ingredients

1 pound dry black beans (see note above)

1 large onion, quartered

1 large green bell pepper, quartered

4 large garlic cloves, peeled and somewhat smashed (just squish them a little with the side of a knife)

1 tsp ground cumin

3 dried bay leaves

1 tsp coarse salt (Kosher or Sea Salt)

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 TB olive oil

Day Two Ingredients

3 additional dried bay leaves


1/4 c. olive oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 large onion, minced

1 large green bell pepper, minced

Salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste

1 tsp cider vinegar

1 tsp ground cumin


1. Soaking

  • Place all the ingredients listed for Day One into a large pot. Fill with water to one inch above the bean line, and soak overnight (or a minimum of 12 hours).

2. Cooking

  • After at least 12 hours, check the water level. Add water if needed so that the level is still 1 inch above the bean line.
  • Bring the contents of the pot to a boil for 5 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to low and cook for 2 1/2 hours without a lid.
  • Occasionally (every 1/2 hour or so), skim off any foam, stir the pot, and add water as needed. Do not let it dry out. Note: if you do need to add water, it must be warm/hot.

3. Vegetable Paste

  • After cooking for 2 1/2 hours, the vegetables have most likely dissolved quite a bit.
  • Using tongs, fish out all that you can find. Don't stress over it too much! 
  • In a food processor, mix these vegetables along with a few beans and a little of the water, until it makes a paste.
  • Add this paste back to the pot.
  • By this time, most of the beans should be soft.

4. More Bay Leaves. Add 3 more dried bay leaves and check for whether you need more salt and pepper (a matter of taste).

5. Sofrito

  • Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a frying pan.
  • Add the minced garlic cloves to the oil. Cook until they begin to "speak" - do not let them brown.
  • Add the minced onion. Cook until the onions appear translucent. 
  • Then, add the minced green bell pepper.
  • Continue cooking until peppers are soft.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add the vinegar and cumin.
  • Mix well, and add the contents of this pan to the large bean pot.

6. More Cooking! 

  • Continue cooking the beans for at least another hour, covered this time. 
  • When done, the beans should be tender, and the broth should be fairly thick.