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Cuban Black Beans

Submitted by Ryan J

Black beans are a staple food in Cuban cuisine. Traditionally, the dried beans are soaked overnight and cooked for a couple of hours. This recipe recreates the beans my grandmother made for me as a child, in a fraction of the time. My grandmother, who came to the U.S. from Cuba in the 1950s, wouldn’t serve the black beans until the day after they were cooked, as their flavor improves with a night of refrigeration.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans black beans, undrained
  • 2 garlic cloves, thin sliced
  • 1 med green pepper, diced
  • 1 med onion, diced
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • ¼ tsp dried oregano, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Cilantro for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Using a 8qt. pot, sauté diced peppers and onions in olive oil over medium heat. Salt lightly and stir until onions are translucent, 4-5 minutes.
  2. Crush the dried oregano to a powder and add with garlic to the peppers and onions, stirring frequently to avoid burning the garlic 30 seconds to a minute.
  3. Add beans straight from the can including the liquid, and rinse the can into the pot by filling halfway and swirling twice.
  4. Add bay leaf and cover, bring to a simmer over medium heat, then drop to low for 15 minutes. *For a slightly thicker consistency, keep the lid half open while simmering.*
  5. Remove from heat and, once no bubbles break the surface, add the vinegar, stir and let sit 5 minutes.
  6. Serve over rice with a fried egg or as is.

Additional Cooking Tips: 

  • If you hate chunky vegetables (or have picky children), use an immersion blender at the end of step 2, adding a portion of the water needed to blend.
  • You can also remove 1/3-1/2 of the beans from step 5, blend the remaining portion in the pot, and add the removed portion to thicken the beans.

 

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