Habichuelas negras, or frijoles negros, while not as popular as other types of beans on our table, it is one of my favorites for its attractive presentation and strong flavors. It can also very easily be turned into a vegan dish. Don't hesitate, I promise it will be worth your while!
Why we ❤️ it
When it comes to habichuelas (frijoles), we Dominicans prefer the red varieties (pinto, cranberry, pink and red kidney beans), but nobody is going to turn down a steamy plate of habichuelas negras guisadas next to a snow-white plate of arroz blanco (white rice).
I have taken my mom's habichuelas negras just a step further with some of my favorite ingredients and flavors. I am sure she'd be proud.
As you can see from the photo, I've added some longaniza to the habichuelas, but this is not strictly necessary, so for a meatless or vegan dish just leave it out.
But if you eat meat, and have some longaniza at hand, why not just skip cooking a meat dish altogether and save some time, and make this dish just extra extra? A bit of longaniza and it goes from side dish to amazing main dish.
Put some avocado on the table, maybe some fritos maduros (fried ripe plantains) or tostones (fried green plantains), and see those dishes sparkling clean in no time. If you are feeling really inspired, and want to leave some Dominicans speechless, cornmeal fritters (arepitas de maíz) will do the job.
About this recipe
I based this recipe on the habichuelas guisadas recipe we know and love, with a few changes: I have added a bit of longaniza to it for extra flavor and for the lazy cooks among us (myself included).
I have seen recipes that add vinegar to habichuelas, but this was an absolute no-no for my mom and the rest of the home cooks in my family. "Las habichuelas se abomban", they would say (the beans would ferment). So, true or not, I dislike vinegar in my beans.
Instead of the traditional cubanelle pepper, I have used both red and green bell peppers, but you can use either. It just looks prettier with both.
We start this recipe with 4 cups of boiled black beans. You can boil 2 cup dry beans beforehand, or you can use canned black beans. I always prefer to boil it at home, but canned beans will also be fine.
This recipe yields 6 servings of about 1½ cups each.
[Recipe] Habichuelas Negras Guisadas (Stewed Black Beans)
- 4 cups boiled black beans, (see notes)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, I prefer olive oil
- 1 lb longaniza, (Dominican sausage) sliced (optional)
- ½ teaspoon oregano (dry, ground)
- 1 bell pepper, red or green, chopped
- 1 small white onion, cut into halves, or half a large white onion
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 4 sprigs of thyme or 1 teaspoon of dry thyme, (optional)
- 1 teaspoon salt, (or more, to taste)
- ½ teaspoon sugar (white, granulated), optional
- ½ teaspoon cumin, optional
- ½ teaspoon pepper (freshly-cracked, or ground)
- A few sprigs of fresh cilantro
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If you are using dry beans
- Boiling the beans (see notes): Soak beans overnight, or for a couple of hours at least (this will reduce the time it takes to boil them). Once soaked, remove them from the water. Place in a large pot, and add half a gallon of water [2 liters] and a bay leaf (this is optional). Boil over medium-low heat until the beans are tender enough that they turn to mush if pressed between your thumb and finger. Add water if it becomes necessary to prevent it from drying out or burning.Once boiled, remove bay leaf and discard.
How to make dominican black beans
- Draining beans: Separate the cooked beans from the water in which they boiled (using a sieve) if you boiled them at home. We'll need 6 cups, so complete with tap water if you don't have enough.If you are using canned beans, and are watching your sodium intake, you could choose to discard the water in the can and use tap water when the recipe calls for water later on.Set beans and water aside
- Sauteeing: In a pot heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the longaniza slices and cook stirring until they brown. If they release more fat than you'd like in your food, remove some of it at this point.Stir in oregano, bell pepper, onion, garlic, thyme, and a teaspoon of salt. Cook and stir for half a minute. Add the beans and cook stirring for two minutes.
- Stewing: Pour in 6 cups of water. Lower heat to medium-low and cover.Once the preparation reaches a gentle rolling boil, lightly mash the beans with a potato masher to break them out of the skin a little bit and make creamier beans. Don't overdo it, we still want some whole beans at the end.Simmer until it reaches a creamy consistency. Stir in the sugar and pepper and season with salt to taste if you find it necessary. Remove the chunks of onion, if any are left. and stir in the cilantro.
- Serving: Remove from the heat and serve per suggestions above the recipe.
Tips and Notes
Nutritional information is calculated automatically based on ingredients listed. Please consult your doctor if you need precise nutritional information.