I’m truly amazed by what I’m finding in short supply at the grocery store during this COVID situation. Most Americans simply don’t cook much at home so I expected to find most frozen stuff gone and precooked meals gone. Instead, I found whole sections of flour, sugar, yeast, and dried beans empty! Logically, that means that you (YES YOU) probably have a bag of dried beans in your pantry right now that you don’t know what to do with! Say hello to Pressure Cooker Cuban Black Beans!
These Cuban black beans are deceptive. They look a bit on the plain side when you see them in a bowl with rice, but these are some of the more flavorful beans I’ve ever made. Cooked down with a bacon, onion, and garlic sofrito and seasoned with cinnamon and spices, the beans end up being almost sweet and savory.
While you could, of course, serve these as a side dish, they make a perfectly acceptable main dish on their own. My family ate them over rice with some chips and salsa on the side.
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How to make Cuban Black Beans in the pressure cooker
If you have a multi-cooker like an Instant Pot or Crockpot multi-cooker, then this recipe is super easy since you can use the saute feature on those devices to cook the sofrito. If you have an old-school pressure cooker, then make the sofrito separately and combine it in the pressure cooker.
The key to the sofrito for this black beans recipe is to finely dice the bacon, onions, and jalapeno. As it cooks, these ingredients will almost disappear into the beans but the flavor will be really wonderful.
Cook the bacon in olive oil until it’s browned and then add the vegetables. Continue to saute until the veggies are softened and then add the spices. It’ll start smelling good right about now!
Then add the black beans and the liquids.
TIP: A little splash of orange juice to the cooking liquid gives the beans a great citrus flavor. Don’t skip it!
Seal your pressure cooker and cook the beans on high pressure for 40 minutes! Then turn off your cooker and let the pressure dissipate naturally for 15 minutes. Then you can vent off any extra pressure manually.
The Cuban black beans will be tender, but not mushy at all. They will maintain their bean shape and not just fall apart, which is exactly what I want!
I like serve the black beans on a bed of cooked white rice with cilantro, fresh lime, and maybe a dash of hot sauce. They are also great served with chips!
Storage and Reheating Black Beans
The black beans will keep great in the fridge for about 5 days or you can freeze the black beans in an airtight freezer bag for up to three months. For reheating, I recommend reheating the beans over a low, gentle heat with a splash of water.
Pressure Cooker Cuban Black Beans
- 4 slices bacon, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
- 3 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 pound dried black beans, rinsed and sorted
- ¼ cup orange juice
- 1 quart chicken stock
- Fresh limes, for serving
- Fresh cilantro, for serving
- Cooked white rice, for serving
- Finely dice bacon and add it to a multicooker (instant pot, crockpot, etc.) on the saute function. Add olive oil and cook until bacon is browned, but not burning, 4-5 minutes.
- When bacon is cooked, add in onions, jalapeno, and garlic. Continue to cook for 1-2 minutes until veggies start to soften and then stir in all the spices. Continue to cook for a minute.
- Rinse and drain beans, sorting out any small pebbles that might be in the beans. Add the beans to the pot along with the orange juice and chicken stock.
- Seal your multicooker for pressure cooking and Place your multicooker on manual high pressure and cook beans for 40 minutes. Then turn off multi-cooker and let the pressure dissipate naturally for 15 minutes. Then manually vent any extra pressure.
- Open pressure cooker and remove bay leaves and cinnamon stick. Turn pressure cooker to saute and keep black beans warm until ready to serve. Season beans with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve black beans over cooked rice with cilantro, fresh lime, and sliced onions.
- Leftover black beans keep well in the fridge for 5 days. Reheat over a gentle heat in a pot with a splash of water or in the microwave with some water for 1 minute on high. You can also freeze the black beans in an airtight freezer bag for up to three months.