Cuban Style Black Beans are simply delicious. Unassuming and easy to make, these beans are a great addition to any meal.
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Of all things that I’ve ever learned to cook, this may be the one I’m most proud of. Black beans are a way of life. They’re a constant staple in my household along with everyone else’s in my family. It’s not uncommon for us to make a large batch and freeze out portions to use at a later time. What I love even more about this strange tradition of ours, is that we (the cooks of my family) all have a unique flavor we create using the same ingredients. My mother’s black beans taste entirely different from my grandmother’s. Mine taste completely different from my mom’s. We’re not changing the recipe of adding unique ingredients, but there is a distinct difference between us all.
Tips for making Cuban Style Black Beans:
- Please please please sort through and rinse your beans! Little pebbles can sometimes make their way into the bag when harvesting. I also like to remove any visibly broken/ damaged beans
- We are making more sofrito (when in doubt make sofrito!). It’s the equivalent of a Mirepoix or Holy Trinity, but we use onion, bell pepper, and garlic. They key here is to dice it very well so it melts into the beans.
- Just out of the pressure cooker, the beans will have a watery like texture. As they simmer, that liquid will reduce, creating a much thicker sauce.
- Some people refer to this dish as black bean soup, I typically don’t. But they are absolutely delicious as a soup, with a little bit of rice on top…or vice versa
- The key to these beans is a touch of acidity (it helps cut some of the earthiness of the beans). I personally love adding apple cider vinegar, because it’s what I grew up with. You can also use a dry white cooking wine.
- If you do not have a pressure cooker, you can soak the beans overnight in about 4 cups of cold water. Drain and rinse the beans the next morning before you begin cooking them.
- In the spirit of full transparency, I had a hard time really writing out the measurements for this recipe. Aside from the vinegar (usually a capful) and bay leaves, I do not measure the spices. I constantly taste and adjust until I get my flavors right and I encourage you to do the same.
Cuban Style Black Beans
- Pressure Cooker
- ½ cup green bell pepper chopped
- ½ cup yellow onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lbs dry black beans sorted and rinsed
- 8 cups water
- 2 bay leaves
- salt to taste
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 2 tsp ground oregano
- 1 tsp cumin
- Place black beans and water in the pot of a 6-quart pressure cooker. Place the lid of the pressure cooker on the pot, locking it in place and adjusting the pressure valve according to manufactures instructions. Once pressurized, cook for 30 minutes.
- While the beans are cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the green bell pepper, onion and garlic and sauté until soft and translucent.
- Once the 30 minutes has passed, allow the pressure cooker to depressurize. Add the cooked onions, bell pepper, garlic, and remaining spices to the pot. Bring to a simmer. Continue to cook the beans on low for an additional 30 minutes, until the liquid has reduced and the sauce has thickened. Serve over cooked white rice.