Few things are as truly Cuban as black beans. One of the most traditional dishes, and a staple in my household, known as frijoles negros. This is one of my favorite comfort meals, paired with a bowl of brown rice.
- 1 pound dried black beans, picked over, and rinsed.
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 1/2 medium red pepper, chopped
- 1/2 medium green pepper, chopped
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- salt & pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Soak the beans over night in a large bowl with enough water to allow beans to double in size. The next day, check that the water is still covering the beans by 1 1/2 to 2 inches, and add more water if needed. Pour into a large pot, add bay leaf, bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to low, and cook uncovered, until the beans are tender, about 2 hours. Check beans while they are cooking and if they need more liquid, add some hot water, maintain 1 1/2 to 2 inches of water above the beans.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, bell peppers, garlic, saute till onion is soft and translucent, but not brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cumin and oregano, mix well. Add the sofrito and vinegar to the beans, mix and cook over low heat, until the beans are tender. Season to taste, and serve over brown rice.
The beans can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat over medium heat.
Makes: 6 to 8 servings