Quick Cuban Black Beans
This recipe for Quick Cuban Black Beans is a bit blasphemous...
Black beans (or frijoles negros in Spanish) are very traditionally made from dried beans. However, this process involves soaking and a very long simmer time or the intimidating notion of conquering the pressure cooker. And now that I am officially a working woman with a normal 9-5 office job, I don't have that kind of time.
Enter this recipe. I humbly contest it is *almost* as delicious as classic black beans. My brother tried it and said it "could not be more delicious," and he is a bit of a bean master. So I am proud to have curated a recipe that I think lends a very tradition Cuban dish the hope of being made in less than half an hour.
Like all Cuban bean dishes, this one starts with a sofrito. This refers to a mix of onion, bell pepper and garlic sautéed in olive oil. Untraditionally, before adding the sofrito to the pan, I toast up cumin powder in a bit olive oil. I think this helps soften its flavor in the dish, which is needed because it doesn't have hours to cook down.
And as always, this will be infinitely better if you can prep it a day ahead of time. Those hours in the fridge blend the flavors beautifully. They also freeze well if you want to make them on the weekend and enjoy them later in the week.
I enjoy these beans on white rice (the "correct" Cuban way), in wraps and in quesadillas or tacos (again, I am sorry to my devoutly Cuban relatives). I posted my Perfect White Rice Recipe here for you desiring to go the traditional route.
Onto the recipe. I hope you enjoy these as much as we do!
Quick Cuban Black Beans
Makes 5-6 servings
2, 15.5 ounce cans of organic Goya black beans
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped (about half a small onion)
½ medium green pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup water
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp sugar
1.5 tbsp white vinegar
Heat oil over medium heat until fragrant but not smoking. Add cumin and toast, stirring for about 30 seconds.
Add sofrito and saute, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes or until the onions are softened and translucent.
Add 2 cans of bean and ¼ cup water. Immersion blend about ¼ of the beans (or smash with a fork). Stir in salt and oregano and sugar.
Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar. Taste and adjust salt and and vinegar, needed.
Serve immediately or enjoy the next day (when its even better!). Just transfer beans to an airtight container and store in the fridge.