This recipe for Cuban black beans, or frijoles negros, will save you tons of time by cooking them in a pressure cooker, and they're just as delicious as the stove top method. They're an excellent side dish.
I've been using my pressure cooker a lot more lately. I'm writing a new cookbook about easy spicy dinner ideas and will be including an entire chapter of recipes that use the pressure cooker. A pressure cooker is a GREAT way to cook up certain foods in a hurry.
I have been considering side dishes lately for several of our upcoming holiday meals and knew I wanted to make Frijoles Negros, or Cuban Black Beans, as a different sort of side. I have a good recipe for them - see my Frijoles Negros / Cuban Black Beans Recipe - but wondered how well the recipe would work in my pressure cooker.
Turns out quite EXCELLENT.
I've made bean soups in the pressure cooker, like this Pressure Cooker Split Pea Soup (scroll to the bottom of that page), and hoped the process would be the same, and yep, it certainly was.
Using the pressure cooker to make Cuban Black Beans will save you about half the cooking time, but mostly it will save you the overnight soaking. There is no need to soak the beans in water overnight. The pressure cooker handles it all for you.
I love that!
The process is simple enough. Just add your beans and water or stock to a pressure cooker and cook it on high pressure for 30 minutes. The cool thing is I had a quart of completely frozen homemade chicken stock that I tossed into the pot without thawing it, just to see if it would affect anything. No problem at all! The pressure cooker made short work of the frozen stock and everything came out perfect.
Quickly release the steam, careful not to burn yourself, and the process from here is the same as making them on the stove top. Basically, cook up some peppers, onions and garlic in a pan, then add the cooked beans with your seasonings and vinegar. Simmer the whole thing about 20 minutes or so to let the flavors develop.
Great stuff! I like serving this as a side dish, but it can be served as a vegetarian meal. Or, consider adding in some grilled chicken to round it out as a dinner option.
It isn't very spicy, but it is BIG on flavor, and with the pressure cooker, it will save you a heck a lot of time, which we all need around the holidays.
Let me know how this turns out for you. Send pics! I hope you enjoy it. -- Mike H.
Pressure Cooker Cuban Black Beans – Recipe
- 1 pound black beans
- 8 cups water or 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
- Rinse the beans and add them to the pressure cooker along with 8 cups water or stock.
- Pressure cook the beans on high for 30 minutes. Quick release the steam and remove the lid. The beans should be tender yet slightly firm.
- 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 cooked beans into the veggie mixture.
- 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.
- Garnish with a bit of fresh herbs and serve as a side or over rice as your main dish.