Frijoles Negros, a classic Cuban black bean dish. Rich, creamy and perfect as a side dish or served over white rice for a full meal.
Ingredients of note
Frijoles Negros can be made with tinned beans however, the flavour and texture are far superior when using dry beans. You get a much deeper taste as the ingredients get to cook together for longer and the texture is creamy and luxurious. Of note, black beans can sometimes be labelled as turtle beans in some parts of the world.
If you do want to speed up the recipe and use tinned beans then you would have to add less water and reduce the cooking times by at least a half.
Serving Frijoles Negros
Frijoles negros can be used in a huge amount of ways. I served it with my Ropa Vieja, it’s also great served with loads of Latin American dishes. It’s also perfect served as a dish of its own over white rice. With the many leftovers I had, I made burritos with frijoles, leftover rice, salad and salsa.
Frijoles Negros (Cuban Black Beans)
- 500 grams dried black beans
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ large Spanish white onion* diced
- 1 green bell pepper diced
- 6 garlic cloves crushed
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ large Spanish white onion* finely diced
- 1 green bell pepper finely diced
- 1 tomato finely diced
- 3 garlic cloves finely minced
- 3 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Thoroughly pick over and rinse the beans.
- In a large bowl, add the beans and cover with plenty of water, soak overnight.
- Drain and rinse the soaked beans. To a large pot add the beans, olive oil, onion, bell pepper, garlic cloves, bay leaves and 7 cups of water, and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium and simmer for 1 hour, checking regularly and skimming the foam that forms on the top. Do not add any salt at this stage as the beans might end up chalky.
- Meanwhile, make the sofrito. Warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ½ onion, 1 bell pepper and 3 garlic cloves and sauté for about 5 minutes until soft. Add cumin, oregano, smoked paprika and black pepper, and cook for 2 minutes more. Set aside until the beans have been cooking for the hour.
- Add the sofrito to the beans. Stir in red wine vinegar and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook, covered, for about 1 hour, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened and cooked through. Discard both bay leaves. Remove from heat.
- (Optional) Use an immersion blender to blend a small portion of the beans for a thicker texture.
- Add salt to taste, 1 teaspoon sugar and 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and serve.