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It has been a long, long time since I had real Cuban black beans. The last time was in Tampa, and I remember it like yesterday. Tasty, tender (but not mushy) beans in a broth that is a little thicker than a traditional soup. I was in a real Cuban restaurant somewhere in the city. It’s been so long ago that I don’t recall the name or even where it was. But I definitely remember the beans. Sometimes the memory of a really good meal stays with you for the rest of your life. Food memories are some of the strongest you have.
These Cuban black beans are just like the great beans I enjoyed over 20 years ago. They are so good that they could easily be enjoyed as a meal by themselves.
Everything about these beans is fantastic. The house smelled terrific while they cooked slowly on the stovetop. Every bowl was a bowl of bean happiness. Really.
I like to use my good ole trusty Dutch oven to make these beans and pretty much darned near anything like it on my stovetop. It’s nice and big and sturdy. That extra weight helps it maintain and distribute heat perfectly. As an added bonus, it’s actually pretty easy to clean up too!
Also try my slow-cooked lima beans.
Cuban Black Beans
The night before
- Rinse the beans and add to a large pot.
- Add enough water to cover the beans by an inch and let soak overnight.
The next day
- Add one onion, quartered.
- Add one pepper, quartered.
- Add 4 cloves garlic, minced
- Add 3 bay leaves.
- Add 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon pepper.
- Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil.
- Add 1 teaspoon of cumin.
- Add enough water to again cover the beans by an inch.
- Bring to a boil and let boil for 5 minutes.
- Reduce to a simmer and let simmer for 2 1/2 hours or until the beans are longer hard but aren’t mushy, checking the water level on occasion.
- Remove the now almost dissolved vegetables to a blender or food processor and puree until a thick paste forms. Add back to the pot and stir.
- Add the remaining bay leaves and season with salt and pepper to taste. Continue simmering.
- Add 1/4 cup of olive oil to a large saute pan over medium-high heat.
- Add the remaining onion (chopped) and bell pepper (also chopped) and cook until starting to soften.
- Add the remaining 4 cloves of garlic (minced) and remaining 1 teaspoon of cumin. Stir and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Stir. Remove from heat and then add to the pot of beans.
- Continue simmering the beans for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. The beans should be tender and the broth should be thick.
Nutritional values are approximate.