Cuban-Inspired Black Beans

Cuban Black Beans

Bold is the word that immediately comes to mind when I think of this vegan version of "frijoles negros". This hearty stew, or chili if you please, featuring black beans dressed up with vibrant spices is just the dish to bridge the gap between 6 months of intensely unpleasant Canadian temperatures and a summer that hopefully will shine upon us unfortunate freezing northern souls sooner than later.

I'll be making this hearty dish again in future. It is certainly an ideal way to showcase the assertive character of black beans that are complemented here by vibrant chilies and spices and, yes, some fine quality beer. You won't need a whole can or bottle, but if you like beer, then that won't pose a problem as you prepare the beans. I should note that you really can't detect the beer, though it does add further depth to this flavorful creation that is a complete taste sensation for the palate. Coconut milk is, in my opinion, also essential because of the delightful creaminess it imparts to the broth.

Cuban-inspired black beans

This is another recipe inspired from Janet of The Taste Space. She shares a wealth of creative vegan recipes to nourish for any season, anytime of day, often with ethnic influences that I admire so much. She is also a big fan of legumes and showcases them in countless inventive ways. My only complaint about visiting Janet's site is the hunger induced by her recipes and mouthwatering photos — that, and my ever expanding list of bookmarked recipes gets even longer with each visit.

Cuban-Inspired Black BeansCuban-Inspired Black Beans
Recipe by
Adapted from The Taste Space
Cuisine: Cuban
Published on May 7, 2014

Thick, colorful, hearty and vibrant Cuban-style black bean and chili stew seasoned with sun-dried tomatoes, spices and beer

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  • 1 1/4 cups dried black beans
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1 dried ancho chili
  • 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced or crushed
  • 2 to 3 fresh red chilies, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 to 1/2 half teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 small tomato, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup lager (I used Grolsch)
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 to 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon tamari (soy) sauce
  • juice from 1 large lime (2 tablespoons)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • chopped fresh cilantro or parsley for garnish
  • Rinse the black beans and soak for 8 hours or overnight in enough water to cover. Drain and rinse, then transfer to a medium saucepan and cover with fresh water. Add the bay leaf and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 1 hour or until the beans are tender. Drain, discard the bay leaf, and set aside.

  • Meanwhile, soak the ancho chili and sun-dried tomatoes separately in hot water for 30 minutes. Drain each, chop finely, and set aside.

  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add the onion and red pepper and stir for 5 minutes until softened. Add the ancho chili, garlic, fresh chilies and jalapeño, cumin, chili powder, paprika, cayenne and oregano, and stir for another minute.

  • Add the fresh and sun-dried tomatoes and stir until thickened — about 5 minutes. Pour in the beer and simmer for another few minutes. Now stir in the beans, coconut milk, 1/2 cup of the vegetable stock and tamari. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally and adding more stock as needed, for 10 to 15 minutes until the sauce has thickened.

  • Stir in the lime juice and season with salt and pepper. Simmer gently for another few minutes until a desired consistency is reached.

  • Serve hot, garnished with chopped parsley or cilantro, alongside a bed of fresh cooked white rice.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Spicy Cuban Black Beans

More black bean offerings from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen:
Beet, Barley and Black Bean Soup
Black Bean and Goat Cheese Quesadillas
Zesty Black Bean and Avocado Salad
Vegetarian Three Bean Chili with a Cashew-Pistachio Sauce


Joanne said...

I definitely like the idea of assertive black beans! THese look so big on flavor.

janet @ the taste space said...

Yippee! Your kind words make me blush but I am so happy you liked these, too! :)

Lily (A Rhubarb Rhapsody) said...

That's an impressive ingredient list, sounds like they'd be packed full of flavour!

Anonymous said...

fantastic! left out the beer and the lime (as I didn't have them) wow - what a great flavor. thx for a great site carol