Cuban Black Beans

According to Alex Garcia, chef-owner of Erizo Latino restaurant in New York City, there are two secrets to true Cuban black beans: preparing them without meat and allowing them to "sleep" over night to develop flavor. This recipe comes from Garcia's grandmother. The finished beans can be seasoned to taste with sugar and vinegar.

Slideshow:Satisfying Vegetarian Recipes

  • Servings: makes about 12 cups


  • 1 pound dried black beans, picked over and rinsed
  • 1 green bell pepper, quartered lengthwise
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red, 1 green and 1 yellow pepper, minced
  • 1 large white onion, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1/2 cup minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • Salt

How to make this recipe

  1. Put the black beans, quartered green pepper and bay leaves in a large saucepan add 8 cups of water. Bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Reduce the heat to low, partially cover the saucepan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, about 2 1/2 hours. Remove and discard the green pieces and bay leaves.

  2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the minced bell peppers and onion and cook over moderate heat until softened. Stir in the cumin and oregano. In a small saucepan, cook the garlic in the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil over moderately low heat until golden brown.

  3. When the beans are tender, add the sautéed pepper mixture, the garlic in its oil and the tomato paste. Season with salt and simmer gently for 5 minutes to blend the flavors. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for up to 3 days. Reheat gently before serving.

Contributed By Published January 1997

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Aggregate Rating value: 5

Review Count: 6340

Worst Rating: 0

Best Rating: 5

Author Name: Madeline Espineira

Review Body: Cuban Black Beans NEVER have tomato products in them. Not paste, not any. The tomato products are reserved for ALL OTHER bean recipes, but NEVER in black beans, fyi. Seriously, and who in their right mind would add ONE HALF CUP of garlic? That is a typo. Must be around two cloves. Where's the cumin? Where's the vinegar?

Date Published: 2017-04-13

Author Name: Jolene Gatto

Review Body: I'm looking forward to making this recipe! (It sounds amazing!) and just wanted to make sure it was correct in asking for a 1/2 cup of minced garlic. Thank you advance for your response! 

Date Published: 2016-07-04

Author Name: ava678

Review Body: Another recipe to add in my collection.

Date Published: 2017-01-30

Author Name: Kjersten Conway

Review Body: Just made these. Holy crap! They far exceeded my expectations. These are better than the beans I was eating in Cuba a month ago. Yes, you do use 1/2 cup of minced garlic. I used the jarred kind and it was not overly strong. I will be making these constantly from now on.

Date Published: 2017-02-23

Author Name: Haydee147

Review Body: DON'T add 1/2 garlic. Too much. Big mistake. The rest of it is good but cut the garlic to 1/8th  to 1/16th 8 cup. I made this and it was horribly hot. 

Date Published: 2016-12-25