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Almost Cuban Black Beans

What you need: 

1 pound black beans, soaked in water over night
6 to 7 cups water
1 onion, cut in half (do not cut off the ends or it will fall apart)
1/2 green bell pepper, whole with seeds removed
4 to 5 cloves garlic, sliced in half
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons cumin
3/4 teaspoon oregano
2 pinches red/cayenne pepper
2 to 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar, or to taste
Salt and black pepper, to taste
*Salt-start with 1/2 teaspoon salt, then go up if needed

What you do: 

1) Drain the soaked black beans. Place the beans, water, onion halves, bell pepper half, garlic, and bay leaves in a pot. Bring to a boil and leave at a high boil for 7 to 10 minutes, stirring intermittently. Once done, skim off any foam, lower the heat to low, and place the top on at an angle.
2) Cook on low heat stirring intermittently for one to two hours or until beans are firm yet soft. In the last ten minutes of cooking, add the cumin, oregano, cayenne, salt, pepper and vinegar. Enjoy!
*Never add salt to stewing beans till the last ten minutes-this can create mush by destroying the outer shell.
Source of recipe: From my blog: http://thewitchykitchen.blogspot.com/2010/05/black-beans-tostones.html

Preparation Time: 
10 minutes, Cooking time: 1 1/2 hours
Cooking Time: 
1 1/2 hours
Servings: 
6 to 8
Recipe Category: 

SO HOW'D IT GO?

This was EXCELLENT! I had to modify the recipe a bit (had no more onions/garlic) by doing the following:

- replaced onion with onion powder

-replaced garlic with garlic powder

-no green pepper (don't like 'em)

-added some chili powder

-added powdered veggie broth for additional flavour 

-used 3 bay leaves instead of 2 

-I had to add way more water then what suggested (about 16 cups), but that might be because my beans were on the old side and required more cooking time

Man, let me tell you those beans are among the best I ever had!! :)b

Thanks to OP for posting this recipe.  

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Hi Nephtys80, awe! That actually happens to me often-the getting home without something I bought. It's always on the receipt too, but somehow not in my bags...
I'm glad you still had luck with canned beans. The way you served it sounds delicious. Hope you try some dry beans soon though. They are so much better than canned. Cheaper too. You'll know when you try it whether it's with black, pinto, or whatever. Plantains are very special with this dish too!
Good Night, Stella Witch

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So, I experienced a couple of serious fails in my attempt to make this:
1) I've had my heart set on making it for days, but I keep finishing work too late to make it to shops where I might get dried black beans. Today I decided that I just *HAD* to have it :), and went for canned beans from the supermarket
2) I also wanted to make the plantains from your blog... and I somehow lost them at checkout!! The cashier asked what they were, they're on my receipt, they just weren't in my bag when I got home... and unfortunately I'd done my shopping in the town where I work, so it was way too late to go back.

So, canned beans and no plantain... and it still turned out delicious! I rinsed the beans, then cooked them with some water and the vegetables and garlic for about 20 minutes, and then another 10 with the spices. I served it with brown basmati rice, loads of fresh coriander (cilantro) and a mango, avocado and coriander salad. So, so, so good!!! I can't wait to try it with dried beans and plantains! :) 

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Hey Marian13!
You know, difference in the amount of water left in any stewed bean recipe usually has to do with the amount of heat used during cooking. For example, you may have a stove  low setting that is really low or something of this nature, so your beans might have cooked properly with the unfortunate side effect of having a little more liquid than is ideal for stewed beans due to the liquid not burning off.
If your beans were tasty with good texture, I would just add a little less water and use the same heat method you did the first time, since you said the beans were good. You can always add more water or veg broth the next day when they thicken up!
Anyway, thanks for trying them and I'm glad the were better the next day!

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:w00t!:  I love Black Beans and I love Plantains! I think I'll make this tonight.  :)>>>

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Great recipe! Very easy to make and tasted fantastic.  The day I made them I was actually disappointed because they came out watery.  We ate them anyway, but the leftovers went in the fridge.  The next day, they were perfect -- exactly how I expected them to be.  Now to figure out how to get them to the right consistency on the first day would be perfect. 

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Hey Shamupops,
Thank you! I agree with you. It is such a delicious and healthful meal. My experience is that everyone loves it too (vegans, vegetarians, and carnivores). Oh, and dry beans are the way to go for both taste and pocket book relief (smile).

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I made these black beans with brown rice and the tostones from your blog post, they were so great! I love black beans and rice, so I was excited to try a new way to prepare them! This was my first attempt making my own beans, and they came out amazing! The tostones were really good too! Thanks for a great recipe and an awesome meal idea!

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Hi HopFrog, I'm glad you liked it. I might try your pressure cooker method next time I make the black beans.
Oh, and that photo is an anomaly (smile)...

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Yum! I thought this recipe would translate well to the pressure cooker, and I was right. After soaking, it was about 25 minutes total time (pressure cook the beans and vegetables for 6 minutes - let the pressure come down naturally, add seasonings and cook the last 10 minutes as the directions state) . Only thing different I did was reduce the water to 4 cups because pressure cooking loses less water to evaporation. When I have more time, I'll do the longer method and see if I notice any difference that makes it worth the extra time.

Overall a delicious, healthy, cheap, EASY recipe that I'll be sure to make again. Thanks!

zfanatique: your photo is gorgeous!

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