Frijoles Negros (Cuban Black Beans)

Photo by Rachel Freeman

There is nothing more Cuban than black beans and rice. Period. Not even sugar or cigars. Therefore, whenever I came home from college a little too white washed my dad would say I needed an infusion of black beans and rice. Whenever we had our non-Cuban friends over for dinner and my mom served this dish, they were always offered an honorary Cuban certificate after completing a bowl of arroz con frijoles.* These beans, served with white rice and lechon, are the quintessential Cuban party meal. This recipe is one that I have pieced together from watching different members of my family prepare this dish and eating it at many a Cuban restaurant in Miami.

3 cans Black Beans (Goya is preferable)
3-4 cans of Water (use the same cans the beans came in)
1 Yellow Onion – Sliced
3 Cloves Garlic – Minced
1 Tbs White Vinegar
1 Tsp Sugar
1/2 Tsp Oregano
1 Tsp Salt (or to taste)
Olive Oil to coat bottom of pot – preferably Spanish Extra Virgin

Place large pot over high flame, add olive oil, onions and salt.

Sweat onions for a minute or two then add the garlic and saute until they are integrated, about 30 seconds.

Add the beans, water, vinegar, sugar and oregano.

Allow to come to a boil and then reduce heat to low or whatever temperature is required to sustain a simmer.

Once the beans have reduced to 2/3 taste and adjust seasoning. Continue to cook until they have reached the desired consistency. Serve with white long grain rice and apply to face.

*A picture of you eating this will get you a digital Honorary Cuban Certificate from yours truly!


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