Just Like Abuela’s Cuban Black Beans

by Cate on November 13, 2008

Over the years, I have exchanged a crazy amount of recipes with one of the engineers at work.  Although he’s now 80 years old, he’s still at it.  Indian food, Cuban food, Spanish food, you name it, he cooks it.  When we had an office potluck some years back, he brought in Cuban Black Beans and Rice and I knew after tasting it, that I had to get the recipe for The Husband.

The first time I made it for him, I held my breath.  After all, he’s Cuban and I’m certainly not.  Quite the challenge to make him something that he grew up eating, and have him give it his stamp of approval.  But approve he did.  In fact, I quote, “This tastes just like my grandmother’s recipe.”  It doesn’t get much better than that folks.  Well, actually it does.  The fact that Nicholas requested black beans and rice the other day just about puts it over the edge.

A year ago today … New England Clam Chowder.
Two years ago today … one of my favorite homemade pizza recipes.
Three years ago today … oh my gosh, the kids look so young, such little baby faces.

Hungry for more bean recipes?
Check out Kalyn’s Garlic-Roasted Green Beans.
Jaden from The Steamy Kitchen has some Stir-Fried Chinese Long Beans.
The great Mark Bittman shares the secret for outstanding Rosemary-Lemon White Bean Dip.
And lastly, The Perfect Pantry dishes up a Bailout Bean Soup.

Just Like Abuela’s Cuban Black Beans
6 servings

1 pound dried black beans (2 cups), sorted and rinsed
1/2 lb fat back (I use 2-4 oz instead)
1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 large bell pepper, chopped (1-1/2 cups)
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 beef bouillon cube
2 bay leaves
1 can (14-1/2 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
4 cups water
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
4 teaspoons ground cumin
1 4 oz can chopped chiles
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon oregano
3 cups hot cooked rice, for serving

Skin fat back and cut into cubes.  Fry pepper, onion, celery and fat back until well softened in oil.  Mix everything together in slow cooker and cook on high for 6-8 hours or until beans are tender and most of the liquid is absorbed.  Remove bay leaves and serve beans over rice.

*Serve bowls of chopped red onion and hard-cooked eggs to sprinkle on top for a traditional black bean and rice dish.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Sara November 13, 2008 at 1:37 am

Sounds great, I’m always looking for new bean recipes!

Saras last blog post..Roasted parsnips and cipollini onions


Kalyn November 13, 2008 at 9:28 am

Sounds really delicious! Thanks for sharing.

Kalyns last blog post..Recipe for Barley Risotto with Mushrooms and Thyme


The Neighbor (Wife) November 13, 2008 at 9:32 am

I can’t believe how little they both look.


Patsy November 13, 2008 at 11:49 am

You just have to keep a recipe like that in regular rotation when it’s that good!

Patsys last blog post..Pretty Pumpkin Pie


Maricriss November 13, 2008 at 12:09 pm

I can’t wait to try this recipe. I love the black beans when I go down to Miami, I know not quite Cuba but close enough.


My First Kitchen November 13, 2008 at 6:51 pm

I’m a new fan of beans and rice… which you’ll see on Monday during the challenge! So these look great, and I’ll take a it-tastes-like-my-grandmother’s-recipe recipe any day.

My First Kitchens last blog post..How to Cook a Quesadilla


caroline July 17, 2009 at 1:00 pm

At the end, take a cup or more of the cooked black beans and puree in the blender. Then add it back to the rest of the beans…It makes them thick and authentic


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