Cuban Black Beans

This recipe for frijoles negros calls for grinding dried whole oregano and cumin seeds. If you prefer, you can substitute 2 teaspoons each of ground oregano and cumin.

Yield: Makes 12 servings
Recipe from Southern Living

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Recipe Time

Cook Time:
Prep Time:
Soak: 8 Hours
Stand: 5 Minutes


  • 2 pounds dried black beans
  • 14 cups water
  • 1 large or 2 small bay leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 2 teaspoons dried whole oregano
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 Cubanelle chile peppers, seeded and chopped (about 1 cup)*
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • Hot cooked rice
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sherry vinegar or cooking sherry


  1. Rinse and sort beans according to package directions. Place beans in a large Dutch oven; cover with cold water, and let soak at least 8 hours. Drain beans, and return to Dutch oven. Add 14 cups water, bay leaf, and garlic; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 2 hours or until beans are tender.
  2. Process oregano, cumin seeds, and salt in an electric spice grinder until ground and blended.
  3. Sauté chiles in 2 tablespoons hot oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet 5 minutes; add onions, and sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Stir onion mixture and oregano mixture into beans in Dutch oven, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes.
  4. Remove and discard bay leaf. Cover and let stand 5 minutes. (For a thicker consistency, remove 1 cup bean mixture, and mash with a fork; return to pan.) Serve over rice, drizzling with oil and vinegar.
  5. *1 large green bell pepper may be substituted.
  6. Note: If you don't have an electric spice grinder, use a mortar and pestle, or place spices in a zip-top plastic freezer bag, seal, and pound with the flat side of a meat mallet.
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