This black bean recipe is an amalgamation of some of my favorite Latin American techniques and ingredients. If you love Cuban black beans, you'll find this recipe similar but a little sweeter thanks to the squash. Whether you're eating Mexican, Cuban or Puerto Rican fare, this is a perfect complement to the menu.
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Carribbean, Cuban, Fusion, Mexican, Puerto Rican
Sift through black beans and pull out any stones, then rinse. If desired, place in a large bowl, cover with water and soak overnight in the refrigerator. This will speed up the cooking time a little, but is not necessary.
On the stove in a large skillet, cook diced bacon over medium heat to render the fat.
When the bacon is mostly cooked, add onions and garlic and saute until onions are golden.
While the onions are cooking, finely chop the cilantro stems saving the tops for garnish.
Transfer bacon onion mixture to a large crockpot and add the cilantro stems and the rest of the ingredients.
Cook on low for 7-9 hours or until the beans are soft and the vegetables have turned into a thick broth.
Serve with chopped cilantro leaves.
If you decided to soak the beans, it's safest to do so in the refrigerator to prevent fermentation. Always drain and rinse soaked beans.
For a vegan or vegetarian version, skip the bacon and use 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil to saute the onions and garlic.
Sauteing the onions is optional, however we highly recommend cooking the onions first. Without this extra cook time, the onions can add a bitter quality to the beans. You can prep the bacon, onions and garlic in advance and refrigerate them until ready to cook. In fact, this dish is easy to prep the night in advance and then put into the crockpot in the morning.
This recipe freezes really well. We place the beans in small, medium and large jars so we have the perfect amount to add to tacos, burrito bowls or to have as a quick meal with rice.