Black Beans (Frijoles Negros)
Randy Zweiban of Chicago’s Nacional 27 gave us this recipe as part of his Cuban Christmas menu. Serve them with pork, plantains, and, of course, our easy Margarita recipe.
Game plan: If you don’t have chicken or vegetable broth, you can use water to cook the beans.
The dried beans in this recipe require overnight soaking before cooking, so be sure to plan accordingly.
This recipe was featured as part of our Build Your Own Burrito Bar story.
- 4 cups dried black beans (about 1 pound, 12 ounces)
- 1/4 cup small dice smoked bacon
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and small dice
- 1 medium celery stalk, small dice
- 1 medium red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, cut into small dice
- 1 medium jalapeño, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
- 1/2 medium poblano chile, stemmed, seeded, cut into small dice
- 1/2 medium red onion, small dice
- 2 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 teaspoons whole coriander seeds, toasted and finely ground
- 4 teaspoons whole cumin seeds, toasted and finely ground
- 2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth (8 cups)
- 1 bay leaf
1Place the beans in a large bowl and pick through them, discarding any broken beans or stones. Cover the beans with at least 3 inches of cold water. Allow to soak uncovered and at room temperature for at least 8 hours or overnight. Drain in a colander and set aside.
2Place the bacon and oil in a large heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is browned and crisp, about 8 minutes. Add the vegetables and measured salt, season with pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and starting to brown, about 8 minutes.
3Add the coriander and cumin, stir to coat the vegetables and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
4Add the beans, broth, and bay leaf, increase the heat to medium high, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered until the beans are until completely tender, about 1 hour. (Make sure the beans are completely covered with liquid during cooking; you may need to add a little water.)
5When the beans are ready, set a strainer over a large bowl. Pour the beans through the strainer. Return the cooking liquid to the pot and boil over medium-high heat until reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Return the beans the the pot and stir to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
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