Cuban Black Beans and Brown Rice

When I lived in Veracruz, Mexico, I ate a lot of black beans–with tortillas, with meat, in quesadillas, etc. I think it’s a primary staple of the Caribbean region, which is likely why this recipe is called Cuban black beans. So I am very partial to this legume. And, because they’re so small, I think they’re easy on the digestive tract–if you know what I mean.

Tonight we had it as a leftover from the weekend because the best way to make this dish is by using dried black beans, which have to soak a good 8 hours before you even cook them. That’s not something I can do during a work week. But they’re even better leftover.

This recipe is from Southern Living magazine. The only adaptation I made was substituting canned green chiles for Cubanelle chili peppers, because I was unfamiliar with them and I knew I wanted a mild pepper flavor. (Green pepper, Southern Living’s recommended substitute, is not a good alternative for me both because of its flavor and its effect on my system.) Oh, and I threw in some browned ground pork. Couldn’t help myself! But the beans are really good without meat, too.

We serve this dish the opposite way from the recipe’s directions: Put the black beans in a large bowl, then top with rice, olive oil, and vinegar.


4 responses to “Cuban Black Beans and Brown Rice

  1. I love black beans, too, but when I cook them, they often turn out dry and flavorless. So, I’m looking forward to trying your recipe.

    Hey! where is it?


  2. i’ve had little success with soaking beans and have reluctantly gone back to canned beans. every time i’ve tried soaking them, after an entire day and night, they’re still hard! any suggestions? (i’ve tried buying fresh bags – same problem.) could i being doing something WRONG? open bag. pour beans in pitcher. add water. i swear i did it right!
    thanks for any help,

    • Hi Casey,

      After you soak them, how long do you cook them? I usually cook them between one and two hours. Also, I think the other ingredients help to break the beans down….possibly the peppers, herbs and/or garlic? So maybe it depends what you cook with them.

      In “The Joy of Cooking” it says that cooking time for legumes “depends on the locality in which they were grown, and on their age–usually two unknowns for the cook; plus the type of water used in cooking them.” If you read about water in the same book, it says “hard water and some artificially softened waters affect flavor. They may toughen legumes….”

      So maybe it’s the water you’re cooking them in and/or the beans you’re buying?

      Hope this helps!

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