Cuban Black Beans
My mother-in-law's recipe for black beans
  • 8 oz dry black beans
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 large sweet onion, finely diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1.5 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp vinegar (red wine, apple cider, or white all work)
  • 1½ tsp salt, divided (plus more to taste)
  • 1 dry bay leaf
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • water or broth
  1. Two hours before cooking, preferably the night before, place the beans in a bowl and cover with water to soak (see note).
  2. When you are ready to cook, drain the beans, place them in a pot with new water (you may also use broth) and cover the beans by 1 inch. Add the vinegar, and bay leaf. Turn the heat to medium high to bring the water to a boil.
  3. While the water is coming to a boil, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and saute the garlic, onions and bell peppers with ½ tsp salt until the onions are soft and slightly translucent. Pour all of the sofrito into the pot with the beans, which should have come to a boil by now.
  4. Cover the beans, reduce the heat to medium/medium-low, enough to maintain a simmer, and cook 30-40 minutes until the beans are soft and cooked through. Stir occasionally, add more water if necessary.
  5. When the beans are soft, add the cumin and adjust salt to taste. Remove the bay leaf before serving.
1. I have forgotten to soak the beans, they'll still cook just fine. Rinse them well to remove any possible debris, and then add a little extra water during the cooking process. It will take a little longer for them to cook.
Recipe by Goodie Godmother at