Cuba Libre!

| April 1, 2011 | 5 Comments
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Black Beans And Rice

My version of a classic Cuban dish!


1 lb of dry black beans
2 1/2 quarts of water
1 red pepper cored, seeded, and diced
1/2 fresh jalapeño pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
4 cloves of garlic minced
1 medium white onion diced
1/2 cup of olive oil
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
2 teaspoons of fresh oregano
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
1 handful of cilantro chopped
sour cream

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Good Eats


As we head into spring, some of the comfort foods that held us over during the long winter are now being replaced by lighter fare for spring and summer. Here in the Pacific Northwest, our springs can be downright cold so the filling warmth of a bowl of Cuban black beans and rice really hits the spot.

Now I am not Cuban nor did I invent this recipe. It was first given to me by a Cuban family who adopted one of our puppies. They got it from an old family recipe. Being who I am, I started tinkering with the recipe and made it my own. I like it a little hotter than the recipe called for and I am a huge fan of cilantro so I replaced the parsley with cilantro. I also changed some other ingredients because it is what I had in my cupboard. The result is my version of Cuban black beans and rice. It is a pretty easy recipe and is filling. I recommend a good beer and maybe even some cornbread to round things out.

Soak And Cook The Beans

  • Rinse the beans in a colander to clean them up
  • Put the beans in a large pot, cover them with water and soak the beans for at least 8 hours
  • Add 1/2 of the diced red pepper, 1/2 of the diced onion, 2 cloves of minced garlic and bring the pot to a boil
  • Lower to a medium heat, cover, and cook the beans until they are tender (approximately 1 hour but they should be checked at 45 minutes)

Finishing The Dish

  • While the beans are cooking, warm the oil in a large skillet. Sauté the onions and red pepper until the onions are translucent (approximately 3 minutes)
  • Add the rest of the minced garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, cilantro, jalapeño, and oregano and cook for an additional two minutes
  • Break out your blender and add a couple of ladles of beans into the blender as well as half of the sofrito you just created in the frying pan. Blend this until puréed.
  • Stir in the sofrito and the purée into the pot and add the bay leaf and sugar into the beans.
  • Bring the pot to a boil and lower the heat to a simmer and cook until the liquid is thick like a gravy (stir frequently).
  • Remove the bay leaf before serving and add the vinegar. I also add a couple of teaspoons of olive oil as this brings out the flavor.

Serving Suggestions

Obviously you need to make yourself some nice, fluffy white rice but I really like to have my black beans and rice with a nice dollop of sour cream on top or even better with some fresh guacamole. This adds a touch of coolness to offset the heat generated from the jalapeño. I hope you enjoy this dish as it is one of my favorites!

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Category : Good Eats

About the Author ()

I am one of the founders and editor of Retriever Life. My passion is Labradors of all sizes and shapes but I am a big fan of all the retriever breeds.

Comments (5)

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  1. diana says:

    this dish sounds yummy. can us readers get a print friendly version? as your page does not allow “copy and paste”

  2. Margie says:

    Kent loves black beans and rice. I can’t wait to try out your recipe. Looks and sounds yummy. Thanks!

  3. Margie says:

    Toni, I made this last night and it was so good! Thank you for the recipe. I wanted to try your pizza recipe, too, but when I opened the past issue in the archive I couldn’t see the recipe there.

    I like the idea of having a printable page for the recipes!

    • Toni says:

      Thanks for pointing out a bug in my archive. Check it now. You should see the pizza recipe! I wil add the print function. I think I figured it out!

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