I was inspired to make these black beans by a Lourdes Castro recipe in a recent Food & Wine. Always looking to simplify, I streamlined the recipe, added the slow cooker for timing flexibility and tweaked a few seasonings. I’m unsure if these still qualify as “Cuban” black beans, but they are rich and slightly sweet and pair great with tortillas, sour cream and the chile verde I posted earlier in the summer.
Soak some beans tonight and you can get these cooking tomorrow. (If you want to cook them now, you can Quick Soak your beans in about an hour. See details here for “Overnight Soak” and “Quick Soak”.)
- 1 pound black beans, soaked
- 6 cups water
- 1 Tbsp. sea salt
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic mashed with 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 Tbsp. organic molasses
- 2 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
- Soak the beans. Follow link above for Quick Soak or Overnight Soak.
- Put the soaked beans in a slow cooker insert or large pot. Add water and salt. Put lid on slow cooker and set on low for 8 hours. For stovetop: cover pot, bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer gently for 1 1/2 - 2 hours, until beans are tender.
- While you’re cooking the beans, give the onion, green pepper, and garlic a few minutes in a frying pan with the olive oil, just until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add the cooked onion mixture into the cooking beans, along with the molasses and bay leaf.
- When beans are tender, remove the bay leaf, add sherry vinegar and simmer gently on the stovetop for 15 minutes. Taste for seasoning, adding additional sea salt or vinegar.
- These beans get better with a little time on them, so they are great to make in advance of when you want them. Store in the refrigerator for a few days.
- If you have a little fresh oregano, throw a few sprigs into the bean cooking when you add the molasses.
- Serve these beans with tortillas as a main dish or as a side to accompany chile verde, carnitas, or other grilled meat or seafood.