There’s something to be said about a good pot of black beans.
Delicious, healthy and cheap, a good pot of beans can go a long way. I understand if you think beans are boring and, trust me, I’ve been there. I like exciting food like waffles, fried chicken, linguine and clams, chocolate cake and lemon bars. Beans have never been very high on the totem pole for me. What can I say? I’m a food snob.
But then a couple of years ago when I lived in Tampa, I had my first bowl of “real” black beans from a hole-in-the-wall Cuban restaurant in Ybor City. Thick and inky, the beans tasted as if they had been simmered with garlic and spices and literally melted in my mouth. At that moment, it was as if I had never tasted a black bean before.
I was a black bean virgin until that moment.
Since moving to California, I have had a hard time finding anything remotely similar to the creamy, fragrant Cuban-style black beans scattered all over South Florida. I also have had a hard time finding yuca, plantain and mojo sauce…but that’s another story.
Finally, I realized that I had to take matters into my own hands. Hey, if you want something done right you usually end up having to do it yourself. The same goes with beans.
Once you make these black beans, you’ll never ever go back to the canned version again. Trust me on this one.
Plus, to make the awesome life changing recipe I’m featuring tomorrow, you’ll first need a pot of these. So get soaking…you will not regret this tomorrow!
Cuban Black Beans
1 lb bag black beans, rinsed and picked over
1 T vegetable oil
1 yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp salt
1 bunch cilantro, minced
Soak the beans overnight in a large pot. In the morning, drain the water and set beans aside.
In a large dutch oven, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and saute for about six minutes, until soft and translucent. Add two cloves of the garlic and continue cooking for another thirty seconds.
Add the beans to the onion and garlic mixture and enough water to cover everything by an inch. Bring beans to a boil then cover (leaving a small crack open), reduce heat and simmer for one hour.
After an hour, stir the beans and add the remaining two garlic cloves and minced cilantro. Return to a simmer and cook another hour until beans are tender and the cooking liquid is thick. Stir occasionally while cooking.
Once cooked, add salt and additional minced cilantro if desired. Serve beans over rice, puree and serve as black bean soup or save for additional uses.
2 hours, not including overnight soak time
**beans freeze wonderfully!