Cuban Black Beans

What I love about black beans and rice is that they go well with almost any protein. In addition to going well with the roast chicken recipe I posted, you can pair them with scrambled eggs, roast pork, fried chicken, roasted fish, and sausages. We’ve even eaten them with hot dogs, the rice and beans a healthier stand-in for white hot dog buns — what could be more kid-friendly?  


2 cups dried black beans
1 large green pepper, sliced in half
1 1/2 tbs vegetable oil
1/2 yellow onion, minced
4 large cloves garlic
1 tbs minced fresh cilantro (or culantro, a Cuban herb, if you can find it)
1 tsp minced fresh oregano (or 1/2 tsp dried oregano) 
1 dried bay leaf
1 tsp white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp cooking wine (vino secco)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp olive oil 

Soak the beans for 3-4 hours or overnight. Boil the beans in a pressure cooker with 2 1/2 quarts of water, half the pepper, and 1 tbs vegetable oil until soft, about half an hour to an hour (depending on how long you’ve soaked them). Turn off the heat. 

Mince the other half of the green pepper. In a small frying pan, heat 1/2 tbs of vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and green pepper and stir for 4-5 minutes until the onion and garlic are well browned. Add the contents of the pan into the pressure cooker and mash the beans with a wooden spoon. Add the rest of the ingredients except for the olive oil into the pressure cooker, cover, and boil for 10-15 minutes until it is well thickened. Remove from heat. Add a tsp of olive oil and stir before serving, with steamed white rice.