Dried black beans become creamy and tender in just minutes with the pressure cooker. Photographer Romulo Yanes stirs in a sofrito of garlic, red bell pepper, and onion (the Cuban cook’s holy trinity), to make his savory Cuban-Style Black Beans.
Slideshow:More Cuban Recipes
1 pound dried black beans, rinsed and drained
2 medium white onions, halved lengthwise
2 medium green bell peppers, halved
4 bay leaves, divided
8 cups cold water
3 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon kosher salt, divided
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Chopped cilantro (optional)
Lime wedges (optional)
How to Make It
Combine black beans, 1 onion half, 1 bell pepper half, 2 bay leaves, and 8 cups cold water in a pressure cooker. Lock lid into place and set pressure to HIGH (15 pounds); bring up to pressure over high heat. When pressurized, reduce heat to medium and cook 15 minutes. Remove from heat, release pressure, and let stand until pressure is completely released. Remove lid. Discard onion, bell pepper, and bay leaves.
Meanwhile, finely chop remaining onion and bell pepper halves. Smash garlic on cutting board with flat side of a chef’s knife. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt, then rub salt into garlic with the knife to form a paste.
Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large skillet over medium. Add chopped onions, chopped bell peppers, and garlic-salt paste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent, about 8 minutes. Stir in remaining 2 bay leaves, wine, cumin, oregano, and tomato paste. Cook, stirring, until tomato paste is incorporated and wine has evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes.
Place uncovered pressure cooker over medium heat. Stir in onion-bell pepper mixture; season with black pepper and remaining 2 teaspoons salt. Simmer until beans are cooked through, about 30 minutes. Drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons oil.
Serve black beans with cilantro and lime wedges, if desired, and season to taste.
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