Sunday, September 19, 2010

Cuban Style Black Beans

I've adapted this recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks: "Cheap Eats". The authors, Brooke Dojny and Melanie Barnard, wrote a food column for Bon Appetit for many years. Phil says he uses this recipe to fix any type of beans.

1 lb. dried black beans
1/4 c. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced or run through a press
2 t. chili powder
pinch of sugar
1 bay leaf, broken in half
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. hot pepper sauce OR 1 serrano pepper, chopped fine
1/4 t. black pepper, if desired
1 t. cumin

Rinse the beans well. Cover with water 3-4 inches over beans. You can soak overnight or use the quick method: Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes. Cover the beans and cut the heat. Let sit for one hour. Return to boil. Skim off any skum. Add 1 t. of the salt and the olive oil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 2 1/2 hours or until beans are softening. Add everything else. Simmer for 45 minutes more. Serve with rice or cornbread. Don't forget to discard the bay leaf!


  1. Hey Mom,

    Thanks for posting this recipe. I made the beans a little while ago and they turned out really tasty. I do remember Phil making black beans often when we lived together in Austin, so that got me into them. Though usually Phil would embellish them with bacon and some other stuff.

    I did the quick boil method, and the beans were edible but not cooked as much as we'd have wanted them to be. Maybe I didn't boil it long enough or something. Or perhaps I simmered them at too low a heat... I think I'll do the long method next time.

  2. Well Aug, I've noticed black beans seem to take much longer than other beans to cook. But none of the cookbooks I have mention that. And that's a pretty big factor! Soaking them overnight (long way) would be a good idea since it's cooler now. A simmer is a simmer so that couldn't have been the problem. So I'm going to edit the recipe to reflect more time. Thanks for mentioning that. I bet that Peruvian garlic rice dish that Violeta talks about would be GREAT with the black beans. Yeah, we sure do need a good Peruvian recipe on this blog. . . I'm glad you're cooking, Aug!

  3. We love black beans so I am happy you posted this Sue. I've never put the cider vinegar in my beans - so I am anxious to try! Thanks for posting!