Need an authentic recipe for Cuban black beans. Cooking for a Cuban guest on Tuesday. He is doing authentic pork shoulder.

My husband thinks I should also make collards. Would that be an appropriate side dish? I make them southern style



Maria I. July 8, 2012
I'm half cuban, and cuban black beans are very different from southern and mexican black beans. Also it will depend from which part of cuba you're guest is, cause they make them differently in each region.

My grandma taught me to make them with these ingredients. The trick is the sofrito (is basically processed veggies that give flavor to the food, like the mirepoix to a broth), which uses white onion and habanero pepper ( it's the long light green pepper) and garlic, add a little of pork fat if if you like, deglaze the pot with a little bit of red wine, after that when you add the beans, my grandma puts cumin and a bay leaf in hers.

Cubans accompany their black beans with white rice and fried sweet plantains or fried plantains, although the sweet plantains are more traditional. You can garnish it with a dash of sliced green onions.

Sorry I always make the recipe by heart, never measured it, something I will do next time I make them.
amysarah July 8, 2012
The best recipes are the ones you do by heart! Yours sounds great . I like your use of red wine - I usually see vinegar in Cuban black bean recipes.

But just wanted to mention that I think you may not mean 'habanero' peppers - which are small and usually yellow/orange/red - and most importantly, extremely fiery. Major heat.

I think the peppers you describe are these - which (at least in my area) are usually sold as either Cuban peppers or Cubanelles:

Big difference is they aren't hot at all - more like bell peppers.
Maria I. July 8, 2012
Yes sorry it's the cubanelle! I just didn't know how to call it in english, my grandma calls it "ají". Oh and when the bay leaf turns a little soft, remove it goes it will give off a bitter flavor if over cooked, although my grandma removes it cause she says it's bad luck to leave it the pot! :)
Maria I. July 8, 2012
I prefer red wine but you could add a little red wine vinegar if you like.
pierino July 8, 2012
amysarah is correct. The habaneros are sometimes known as "scotch bonnets". They are indeed very hot. If you can get past the heat they have this sort of lovely floral aroma and taste. But I don't think they are right for this dish.
BoulderGalinTokyo July 8, 2012
Here is a recipe I clipped a long time ago from the LA Times, Culinary SOS. Sorry I didn't have the date it was published and a quick search didn't bring it up. Hope this helps.

Cuban Black Beans (Frijoles Negros)

1 lb. dried black beans
2 small green peppers
2 small onions
½ lb. salt pork, diced
1 ½ teaspoons salt
¼ cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon vinegar
Hot cooked rice
Finely chopped onion
Lemon or lime wedges

1. In bowl cover beans generously with cold water and soak overnight.

2. Chop green peppers and onions coarsely. Combine half green peppers, onions and salt pork with drained beans in pot. Add salt, cover and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until skins of beans begin to pop, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Stir occasionally to prevent scorching. Add hot water as needed to prevent beans from sticking, but do not allow to swim in liquid.

3. Heat oil with remaining salt pork in skillet and brown lightly. Add remaining green peppers, onions and garlic. Cook until onions are tender, but not browned. Add onion mixture to beans and stir in vinegar. Cover and simmer about 45 minutes longer, adding hot water if needed, but be careful not to make mixture soupy.

4. Serve over hot cooked rice. If desired, pass finely chopped onion and lemon wedges or lime wedges on side.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Liz C. February 19, 2024
Do I cover the beans with water to bring them to a boil? How much?
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