Instant Pot: Cuban-Style Black Beans

This year I’ve set up some tighter food budget goals. I always strive to keep a clean pantry, but my spending quickly gets out of hand when I’m not paying close attention. One of my goals to help with the food cost dilemma was adding more beans to our diet. Adding just one meal of beans per week, along with using less meat when feasible, can add up to big savings.

In my home I almost never use canned beans. They’re gross. They’re over priced. They aren’t good for you! I use a variety of dried beans that I soak and cook at home. Cooking dry beans at home has always been fairly simple, but now that I have an instant pot, it’s even easier. Making dry beans at home really could not be any easier.

Cuban-Style Black Beans

This classic black bean recipe has fresh garlic, jalapeno and onion. I buy certain fresh produce items to freeze. Having a jalapeno or fresh ginger on hand can really make the difference when you are stretching your long term dry pantry out. This dish is wonderful even with the most basic of ingredients on hand however, the real essential ingredient is bone broth which is basically free! I make my broth with primarily chicken bones and I simmer it approximately 3 days. The longer your broth brews, the darker and richer it becomes, and I always season it to be rich and flavorful. If you don’t have amazing bone broth on hand, or if you are suiting vegan or vegetarian needs, water or vegetable broth, and additional seasonings will work well. These beans are not the gloppy, dreadful beans you’ve hated all your life. They are absolutely vibrant, comforting and easy to make!

Day 1-

  • 1lb black beans
  • Cold water and vinegar

Day 2-

  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano, dry
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1 jalapeno , Seeded and diced

(1-2 Teaspoons honey or maple syrup optional)

Salt + Pepper To taste

Day 1-

  1. Place beans in Instant pot bowl.
  2. Pick out any rocks or dry, cracked looking beans.
  3. Add cold water to cover and approximately 2 Tablespoons of vinegar.

Place lid back on the IP. Allow to rest at room temp for 24 hours.

Day 2-

  1. Rinse and drain the beans, and add water and/or broth to reach approximately 6-8 cup mark on instant pot. Add all of the day 2 ingredients. (EXCEPT salt and pepper)
  2. Press Bean/Stew and adjust time to 40 minutes. (If you are cooking ahead you can set the beans to 20-30 minutes and come back for them several hours later if necessary.)
  3. Once the time is up. Gently and carefully release steam. Open lid , click “Saute” to reduce liquid until thickened.

+Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve warm with rice, lime wedges, cilantro, avocado or maybe your favorite Latin inspired meats and salads.

NOTE: If you want the jalapeno and onion to retain a bit of freshness. Hold them aside until you are simmering the beans during the final step.

Stove Sop Directions- Follow directions as above except use a heavy bottomed pot instead of an instant pot. Soak beans. Drain beans. Add water/broth to reach approximately 1″ over the beans. Add spices. (not the salt) Bring beans and broth to a boil. Reduce heat to low temperature. Simmer on low for one hour. Stir and add liquid as needed until beans are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Why Do You Soak The Beans? Isn’t the point of the Instant Pot to have Instant recipes?

I soak beans and whole grains to make them easier for digestion. We’ve all heard the adage about beans being the musical fruit right? Not only does soaking help with digestive upset, it also helps to prime the nutrients. Soaking  whole grains and beans, simply put: “predigests” the beans or grains, making them easier on the tummy, and it also makes the nutrients in the beans (or grains) ready and available.

Interested in learning more about soaking grains and beans? Find out more HERE