Frijoles Negros Cubanos

Here’s a recipe by Ofelia – Cuban Black Beans. Perfected by her grandmother, this is a traditional Cuban recipe and the first one on this blog. Let’s hope we see more contributions from Ofelia.

– Sid


  • 1lb dry black beans
  • 12 cups of water
  • 2 green pimientos (bell peppers)
  • 2 medium size onions
  • 1 whole head of garlic mashed to a pulp
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • 1 cup good extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbs white vinegar (I prefer Balsamic)
  • 1tsb sugar
  • Salt to taste


  1. In a large pot pick and clean the beans under running water, drain.
  2. Add the water, the pimientos, the onions, the bay leaves and cumin.
  3. Bring to a boil and keep cooking over medium heat, covered, for about one hour or longer until beans are “silky” soft.  (Along the way, it might be necessary to keep adding water to the pot, just make sure it is hot water).
  4. Sautee the mashed garlic in  3/4   cup of olive oil until golden, not burned. Pour into the frijoles and add the sugar.  Check the salt.
  5. Keep cooking uncovered over low heat until the beans have a rather thick consistency.   Stir with wooden spoon, back and forth, often.  Scrape the sides as the water consumes.
  6. Just before serving, drizzle more olive oil over the beans.
  7. Serve over white rice.

Note:  My grandmother, just about to serve the frijoles, added a good shot of dry Sherry; I do that too.

– Ofelia