How To: Make frijoles negros (black bean stew with rice)

Make frijoles negros (black bean stew with rice)

Tight budgets mean cheap food, and there's nothing cheaper than beans and rice, but you don't have to sacrifice taste and quality to eat on the cheap. Adding some vegetables like onions and peppers adds a great deal to an otherwise bland dish.

Rice and beans are an ideal meal for the thoughtful cook on a tight budget. Together they constitute a complete protein, and a big plate costs less than fifty cents to make. These black beans are vegetarian. That's a little unusual for Cuban black beans, but John Verlinden of Mucho Gusto thinks you'll agree that they're delicious and healthy.


Serves 10 as a side dish

* 1 lb dried black beans
* 8 cups water
* 1 large onion, peeled & chopped
* 1 large green pepper, cored, seeded & chopped
* 6 cloves garlic, peeled
* 2 tsp salt
* 1 tsp black pepper
* 1 tsp ground cumin
* 1 tsp dried oregano
* 2 bay leaves
* 2 tbsp olive oil

Optional Garnishes

* red onion, finely chopped
* fresh parsley, chopped


1. Place beans in a colander and rinse thoroughly under cold water, removing any small stones or bits of soil that may have eluded the packer
2. Transfer beans to a large pot, cover with water and soak for 8 hours or overnight
3. When ready to cook, add a little more water if needed to cover. Do not rinse or drain the soaking liquid
4. Add remaining ingredients, cover the pot and bring to a boil on top of the stove. Then lower the heat and simmer until the beans are tender, about 1 hour
5. Mash garlic cloves and some of the beans against the sides of the pot to thicken the liquid
6. Remove cover and continue cooking slowly until the liquid is reduced and has the consistency of gravy. Stir frequently to prevent beans from sticking and scorching
7. Before serving remove bay leaves, adjust seasonings and add a little more olive oil if desired
8. Transfer to serving bowl and garnish with a bit of finely chopped red onion and chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Make frijoles negros (black bean stew with rice)

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