Cuban Black Beans with Beer

Time consuming, but delicious.

Frijoles Negros

I’ve tried a lot of recipes for black beans, and while they’re all tasty, it turns out that this one — prepared on a whim — is the most flavorful that I’ve come across.

It’s loosely based on the frijoles negros recipe from 3 Guys From Miami. Their cookbook is one of my few go-to sources of recipes. In their recipe, they recommend six ounces of dry Spanish wine. I firmly believe in the interoperability of alcohol in many recipes, so I decided to substitute the wine with beer.

Yeah. Beer.

No, I didn’t use any of my good German stuff. I used the cheap cans of Trader Joe’s beer that I bought for beer can chicken last summer. It added a flavor and depth that I’ve never gotten with any other method. Try it. Really.

Peppers and onions sauteeing in the dutch oven.


  • 1 pound black beans, soaked, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • Olive or grapeseed oil for sauteeing
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1 can cheap beer (I used Trader Joe’s Simpler Times pilsner)
  • 1 Tbsp epazote or oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 4 cups water
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Beans, spices and bay leaf.


In a heavy pot or dutch oven, saute onions and peppers until soft. Add your beans, epazote, cumin, bay leaf, vinegar and beer. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add water and return to a simmer. Ignore for about three hours.

Serve with white rice and the Cuban entree of your choosing.


Judging by the Tiny Kitchen Assistant’s smile, I would say that the dinner was a hit. The Husband immediately gathered the leftovers and stashed them away for Monday lunch, which constitutes a rave review.

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