One of my favorite, versatile foods is the dried bean. They are much cheaper than their canned counterpart and pack a lot of protein. Plus, they hold a lot of flavor. Since my husbby's family is part Cuban, I've been introduced to a delicious family recipe for Cuban Black Beans.
My husband's late grandfather is from Cuba. He and my hubby's grandmother worked together to create this recipe, based on what he remembered as a child and young adult in Cuba.This recipe is a bit different from Cuban Black Beans that you might order from a Cuban restaurant, in that this recipe has a thicker sauce. I prefer the thicker sauce because the entire recipe lends itself to many different uses. I can guarantee that most people have all these ingredients already on hand in their pantry.
This is a great recipe, if you need to feed a crowd. For my little family, I can get several meals out this — making it an extra frugal meal. Score!
Before I get to the family recipe, here are a few of my favorite ways to use up a single batch of the recipe (it makes a crock-pot full of black beans):
- Main course: Serve the beans over a bed of yellow rice and roasted chicken. We like to have it with a side salad.
- Side dish #1: Serve a smaller portion over a bed of rice, all along side sliced, grilled chicken or steak. As pictured above, I've served it with grilled zucchini and toasted cuban bread with tomato and basil.
- Side dish #2: Serve like a soup -- topped with sour cream and freshly chopped cilantro. Oh, and don't forget to squeeze a bit of fresh lime juice over the top, just before serving. Yummy!
- Ingredient: I like to mixed this into roasted tomato and corn quesadillas.
FAMILY CUBAN BLACK BEANS
Recipe by Grandma Grace and Papaw Gus
- The night before, rinse beans in bowl under cold water. Discard any floating beans. Remove any stones and drain beans.
- Place beans in crockpot and cover with water. Make sure there is about 3 inches of water covering beans. Add bay leaf, salt, and baking soad. Cover and soak overnight.
- In morning, turn crockpot to HIGH. Cook for about 6 hours (do not remove lid). Or set to LOW for 8-9 hours. Beans are done when they can be mashed with a fork.
NOTE: make sure about ½ inch of water above beans during cooking. If it needs more water, pour in hot water.
- Once beans are cooked: In skillet, saute oil and garlic in olive oil until onions are clear. Do NOT burn!
- Pour contents of skillet (oil, onion, and garlic) into crockpot and stir. Return cover and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes.
- Add can of tomato paste; stir until dissolved. Return cover and cook for an additional 15 minutes.
- Pour sliced olives and all juice into crockpot; stir, return cover, and cook for addition 10-15 minutes.
- Taste broth to see if salty enough.
IMPORTANT: The sauce of the beans should be fairly thick. If not thick enough after all cooking, pour sauce (no beans) into pot. Simmer on stove until sauce reduces to desired thickness and stir back into beans.