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Gloria Estefan’s Frijoles Negros: Recipe from the God’s Love Holiday Catalog

The version of black beans we’ve come to know and love today developed when Spanish, African, and indigenous influences melded. Cubans began to add their own twist to bean recipes by softening the beans and adding dry wine to bring out a unique taste. What really sets the flavor of Cuban-style black beans apart, though, is the sofrito, the sautéed mixture of onions, garlic, and green peppers. I’m thrilled that the chefs at God’s Love We Deliver call upon their own rich heritages to bring sofrito and other global flavors to each meal for their clients – truly reflecting the diversity of New York City. These chefs know what I know: No Cuban meal is complete if not accompanied by black beans.

~ Gloria Estefan

Gloria Estefan’s Frijoles Negros


1lb. black beans
10 cups of water
1 large green chili pepper, cored and seeded, halved
1 large white onion, peeled and halved
5 garlic cloves, some of them crushed (with a garlic crusher or mortar)
2/3 cup olive oil
1 bay leaf
3 tsps oregano
Salt to taste
Cumin powder to taste (optional)
½ cup of dry wine
2 tbsps. red wine vinegar (optional)

  1. Wash the beans well. Place the washed beans in a large pot with a lid or in a Dutch oven. Pour the water in, cover and leave the beans to soak overnight, or at least for 6 hours.
  2. Over medium-high heat bring the beans to a boil. Add a green pepper half, one of the onion halves, and one garlic clove. Cover the pot and reduce the heat, cook the beans between 45 and 60 minutes, or until they are soft.
  3. Meanwhile, very finely chop other halves of the green pepper and onion, which will be used in the stir-fry to season the beans. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat, until you can smell it.
  4. When the beans soften, pour sofrito over the beans and add the bay leaf, oregano, salt, cumin powder, and dry wine, stirring gently. Cover and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes. If desired, pour in vinegar in the last 10 to 15 minutes. For thicker beans, uncover for the last 10 to 15 minutes, but keep an eye out, lest you end up getting black bean pie!
  5. Remove bay leaf. Serve piping hot over white rice.

View All Holiday Recipes

+ view all Holiday 2022 Catalog Recipes