A recipe for rich, earthy black beans prepared Cuban style, with vegetable stock, bell pepper, onion, garlic, red wine vinegar and plenty of herbs. This is an excellent side dish.
This is the time of year when we all need good side dish recipe ideas. Parties are popping up, gatherings are being scheduled, cookouts planned. The question that immediately comes to mind, usually accompanied by some form of mild panic, is - "What the heck should I bring?" Ack!
You already KNOW Cousin Sissy will be bringing her crazy succotash and Uncle Ralph his typical 6 pack of PBR, but what are YOU going to bring that everyone will love? I got you covered. May I present to you...
Frijoles Negros! Yes! AKA - Cuban Style Black Beans.
Won't it be nice to bring something different? Something guaranteed to be a hit? These beans will be LOVED, and bonus, they are pretty easy to make. They do require a bit of soaking since we're starting with dried beans, though you CAN make them in a pressure cooker. I will post that recipe soon enough. You also can use canned black beans for this, but starting with dried beans will result in a tastier dish. I vote for tastier!
Let's make some frijoles negros!
The first thing you'll need to do is soak the black beans. Cover them in water and soak them overnight. This will soften them up. Drain the water and add the beans to a large pot.
Add 8 cups water or stock and bring to a quick boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 1 hour, until the beans are nice and tender. I prefer using STOCK for this recipe, particularly vegetable stock. I like to save old vegetable shavings, herb stems, even Parmesan cheese rinds in the freezer for stock making. Foods come out so much more flavorful this way, though if you're unable to obtain stock, water will be fine.
Next, cook down the onion, bell pepper and garlic, then scoop them into the bean pot. Stir in the seasonings, red wine and sugar, then cook another half hour to allow the flavors to develop.
When the beans are ready, garnish with a bit of fresh herbs, drizzled olive oil and serve. It travels really well, so bring it along to the party! I usually serve this as a side dish, you can easily serve this over rice as your main dish.
I hope you enjoy them.
Frijoles Negros - Cuban Black Beans – Recipe
- 1 pound black beans
- 8 cups water or stock (I used a homemade veggie stock)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil + more for finishing
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 large white onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 bay leaves
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Fresh herbs for serving
- Prepare the dry beans first by completely covering them in water and soaking them overnight. Drain the water and add the beans to a large pot.
- Add 8 cups water or stock and bring to a quick boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 1 hour, until the beans are nice and tender.
- Heat the oil in a large pan and add the onion and bell pepper. Cook them down about 6-7 minutes to soften.
- Add the garlic and stir. Cook another minute or so.
- Scoop the veggie mixture into the pot of beans.
- Stir in the oregano, cumin, bay leaves, red wine vinegar and sugar. Cook another 20-30 minutes to allow the flavors to develop.
- Scoop out the bay leaves before serving.
- Drizzle with olive oil, if desired.
- Garnish with a bit of fresh herbs and serve as a side or over rice as your main dish.