Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

mari's famous cuban black beans

Recipe by
Lori L (JostLori)
San Diego

This recipe is from my daughter-in-law's mother, Mari, who was born and raised in Cuba. She's recently immigrated to the United States, and I'm so happy that she's willing to share her family recipes - Mari's an expert resource when making Cuban dishes - she's an outstanding cook! And so is her husband, Manuel.

yield 8 -10
prep time 10 Min
cook time 1 Hr
method Pressure Cooker/Instant Pot

Ingredients For mari's famous cuban black beans

  • 1 lb
    dried black beans
  • 1
    bay leaf
  • 1/4 c
    olive oil, light
  • 1 lg
    green bell pepper, divided use
  • 5 clove
    garlic, chopped
  • 1
    red onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp
    ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp
    oregano, crushed
  • 2 Tbsp
    white vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp
    sherry dry cooking wine
  • 2 tsp
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • cornstarch, optional

How To Make mari's famous cuban black beans

  • 1
    Clean and sort the black beans to ensure there are no pebbles in the mix. Place the beans and the bay leaf in the Instant Pot (in Cuba, they use a regular pressure cooker). Pressure cook on high, or the "beans" setting" for 40 minutes. Let the steam release naturally.
  • 2
    While beans cook, make the sofrito. Pour the olive oil into a saucepan and heat. Add the garlic, onion, and bell pepper. Add the cumin and oregano. Cook over medium low heat until the veggies are very tender and aromatic. If necessary, add a little more olive oil - the sofrito should not be dry.
  • 3
    When beans are done, transfer the sofrito to the bean pot. Stir to incorporate. Add the vinegar, cooking wine, and sugar. Add salt to taste.
  • 4
    Stir the beans and smash some against the sides of the pot to thicken them up. They will still be quite liquid. If you want them thicker, dissolve some cornstarch in a bit of water and add, a little at a time, until it reaches your desired consistency. This will change the flavor if you use too much, though!
  • 5
    Return the pot to the instant pot and cook for an additional 10 minutes, to further soften the beans and to make the flavors infuse.

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