Cuban Black Beans in the Crockpot
Hubby loves to cook some of the Cuban foods he grew up eating. We eat rice and beans on a regular basis. He never makes black beans and I decided to give this recipe a shot. Since we don’t have a pressure cooker, I adapted the original recipe for the crockpot. Most crockpot recipes really can be cooked all day. This isn’t one of those recipes. If you let it cook all day, the beans will become mushy.
The Sazon completa (aka Complete Seasoning) is necessary to bring out the flavor of the beans. It really makes this dish. You can probably find it near the Spanish foods at your grocery store. Ours sells little packets of the seasoning which is perfect.
Cuban Black Beans – adapted from Mrs Regueiro’s Plate – serves 8
1 pound dried black beans
8 cups water
2 Tbsp olive oil
6 slices of good-quality bacon, chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 1/2 cups chopped green bell pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
Olive oil for sautéing
1 Tbsp Sazon completa
1 Tbsp ground cumin
2 bay leaf
1/2 cup dry cooking wine
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
Chopped cilantro for garnish
Salt & pepper to taste
1/2 tsp baking soda
Pick over the beans carefully and rinse well. Combine dried black beans with water in crockpot. Cover and let stand overnight. Make sure the water is covering the beans.
The next day, cook the beans on low for 4 hours.
Prepare the sofrito: Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a medium-heat frying pan and sauté the bacon slices until par-crispy. Then remove the bacon and add the onions and bell peppers. Cook until translucent and add the chopped garlic and cook for an additional minute. Season with salt and pepper.
When the beans have cooled slightly, add the sofrito, bacon pieces, cumin, sazon complete, vinegar, cooking wine, baking soda and bay leaves. Cook on low heat for another hour, stirring occasionally. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.
Remove the bay leaves & garnish with chopped cilantro and serve the frijoles negros over white rice.