Blue Cashew Cuban Black Beans

Gregory Triana, co-owner of the fabulous kitchen and dinnerware supply store Blue Cashew in High Falls, NY (warning: dangerous store to wallet), sent me this wonderful vegetarian black bean recipe.

It definitely takes some time and attention but is worth it. Given my carnivore tendencies and my inability to leave a recipe alone, I have started dabbling with adding chorizo or beef to it to good effect, but so far I think the original vegetarian version below is the best.

I usually just make 1 pound of dried beans, and therefore cut the amount of garlic, but have played with keeping the cumin, green pepper and onion portions the same, also to good effect.

Thank you to Gregory for letting me share this here.

2 – 1lb. Bags of Goya Black Beans ( I like the size and texture of their beans when cooked)
2- Medium to Large Spanish Onions –red onion works as well (To be used at different times)
2- Medium to Large Green Peppers (To be used at different times)
8- Large Garlic Cloves (To be used at different times)
6 – Dried Bay Leaves (To be used at different times)
Coarse Salt ( To be used as you cook, you must taste as you go and depending on your salt level add accordingly
Pepper and (Crushed Black Pepper also for a touch later)
Spanish Olive Oil ( I suggest Goya Spanish Olive Oil or a Sicilian Olive Oil its hearty and cloudy and great for beans)
1-Teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar
Ground Cumin

Preparation for Soaking The Beans
Take your beans and clean/rinse very carefully several times they sometimes contain little pebbles etc…place in the pot
Cut 1- Spanish Onion into quarters – place in the pot
Cut 1- Green Pepper remove seeds into quarters – place in the pot
1-Teaspoon of Ground Cumin – place in the pot
1-Teaspoon of Coarse Salt – place in the pot
1-Teaspoon of Black Pepper – place in the pot
1 1/2-Tablespoon of Olive Oil – place in the pot
4-Large Peeled Garlic Cloves – Take ur paring knife and cut a slit into them – place in the pot
3- Dried Bay Leaves

Mix all together — Gregory likes to use his hands but spoons work as well.
Fill the pot with water about 1 inch above the bean line, cover and soak overnight for at least 12 hours….

In the morning….
Check the water bean line and some of the water might have been absorbed so add more at least 1inch above the bean line
Bring to a high boil for about 5minutes, stir and reduce to low
Cook uncovered for about 2 1/2 hours…. Skim occasionally and stir – check the water line never let it dry out and check bean tenderness.
If you need to add water it must be warm.
After 2 1/2 hours the vegetables (onion, green pepper, cloves, etc.. should have basically dissolved to nothing)
Discard the bay leaves and remove the vegetables and place into a food mill most of them do not worry if you leave a few behind.
Add some liquid of the beans and a few beans to create a nice paste- remove from your food mill and add back to the pot….
Taste the bean tenderness most should have cracked and they should be tender not MUSH, not hard…
Continue to cook low heat…. Add your last 3-remaining bay leaves
Add some fresh cracked pepper – to taste.

Final Step…. Making the Sofrito!

A Skillet/Fry Pan will be needed
Finely dice/cube your remaining onion – set aside
Finely dice/cube your remaining green pepper remove seeds – set aside
Mince your remaining garlic cloves – set aside
Add about 1/4 cup of olive oil to the fry pan low heat until FRAGRANT do not smoke it at all
Add the garlic stir do not let it brown
Add the onion continue to stir until opaque and tender about 8-10minutes
Add the green pepper cook until tender
Add pinch of salt to taste
Add pinch of black ground pepper
Add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar sometimes I use the cap of the bottle as the measurement
Add the cumin 1teaspoon
Stir – mix well making sure all flavors are combined
Remove from heat and add all contents to the beans that are still cooking at low temp.
Continue to cook ur beans for about another hour low heat – covered.

Gregory’s Notes: You’re basically done… The beans should be tender, the broth a bit thick and ur done… Set aside serve and eat or store in the fridge. Black beans should always be served with long grain white rice – but we sometimes use a kashi rice or brown but never yellow!