Black beans are a staple in most Cuban homes and my family's house is no different. It is not a holiday celebration without black beans being served and they're available at all Cuban restaurants through out the country. That's how integral black beans are to Cuban cuisine.
I have been after my mom for years to share her Cuban black bean recipe with me and I finally got it! These beans are so simple to make but are time consuming. Like all of my mom's other recipes, I had to stand next to her in the kitchen with a pad and force her to use measuring spoons and cups.
How to make Cuban black beans without an Instant Pot
If you don't own an Instant Pot, you can make these in a stock pot or dutch oven. Basically in any large pot with a lid. The main difference here will be the amount of time the beans cook for. With an Instant Pot, they'll cook for about an hour and in a regular pot they'll cook for about 3+ hours.
- You'd first soak the beans along with the vegetables and bay leaf over night in the water in the same pot you plan to cook them in. Be sure to cover the beans with the pot's lid.
- When you're ready to cook, add your salt and bring your beans to a mild boil at medium heat
- The minute your beans hit a boil, drop the heat to low and cover. Cook at low heat for about 2-3 hours until the beans are soft, tender and cooked through.
- Uncover the beans and add additional water (½ cup at a time) if needed, you don't want dried out beans. Continue to cook at low heat, uncovered for another 30 minutes then add the vinegar and olive oil. Add more salt (if desired) to your personal preference.
- Stir occasionally and cook for another 10 minutes at low heat before serving.
What's the secret to these Cuban black beans?
What makes these Cuban black beans better than other recipes is the following: your bay leaf, chopped onions, garlic and green peppers soak over night in along with your dried beans. So while the beans soften overnight they're simultaneously absorbing the rich flavors from the onions, garlic and pepper.
That water that the beans soaked in is also the same water the beans will be cooked in. We don't rinse out the water here because we'd be throwing away so much rich flavor.
What to serve Cuban black beans with?
How to store leftover black beans
These Cuban black beans can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. After 3 days, store the beans in the freezer in an airtight container. If frozen, allow them to thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
Instant Pot Cuban Black Beans
- Instant Pot
- 1 14 oz bag of dried black beans
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped
- 1 green bell pepper chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic chopped
- 9 cups water
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Rinse your beans to remove any dust or debris from the bag.1 14 oz bag of dried black beans
- In the Instant Pot inner cooking pot place your rinsed beans, onions, garlic, pepper and water. Cover with a dish towel and allow to soak overnight (about 12 hours)1 14 oz bag of dried black beans, 1 medium yellow onion, 1 green bell pepper, 3 cloves of garlic, 9 cups water
- Once the beans have soaked over night, add salt and bay leaves and place in the instant pot and cook for 45 minutes in the soup setting with regular pressure.
- Open your instant pot once it's safe and make sure your water didn't dry out. Give the beans a gentle stir. You can add water in ½ cup increments (upto 1 ½ cups) if the beans are absorbing the water too quickly.
- Add the vinegar and olive oil and allow the beans to simmer for another 15 minutes uncovered before serving. Add additional salt to taste.