Emilia's Cuban Black Beans


My mother-in-law made this often when I lived in Miami before her death. After reading the other recipes on here, I found they all missed one very important ingredient for authenticity -- PORK! This recipe takes a while to cook, and I have also used a slow cooker with good results for those who enjoy using them. Serve over white rice. Hope you enjoy!

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
3 hrs 55 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs 15 mins
10 servings


  • ¼ pound bacon, chopped

  • 2 achiote (annatto) seeds

  • 1 yellow onion, diced

  • ¼ teaspoon minced garlic, or to taste

  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley

  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro

  • 1 pound dried black beans, picked over and rinsed

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin

  • kosher salt to taste

  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper

  • 1 lime, juiced

  • 2 bay leaves

  • ½ cup large pimento-stuffed Spanish green olives, sliced

  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley, or as desired


  1. In a large pot over medium heat, cook and stir the bacon with the annatto seeds until the bacon pieces are browned, crisp, and colored from the seeds. Stir in onion, garlic, 1/2 cup parsley, and 1/4 cup cilantro; cook and stir the vegetables in the bacon drippings until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the beans, oregano, cumin, kosher salt, pepper, lime juice, and bay leaves. Pour in enough water to cover the beans by about 4 inches, and bring to a boil over medium heat.

  2. Cover the pot and simmer the beans and seasonings until tender, about 3 hours, adding water if necessary to prevent burning. Stir in the olives and 1/4 cup cilantro, and simmer for 30 more minutes, uncovered, to reduce excess soupiness if desired. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon or more of fresh parsley, and serve.

Cook's Note

After Step 1, you can place the beans into a slow cooker and cook on High setting for 2 hours, or Low setting for 3 hours. Finish the recipe as written, adding olives and cilantro, uncovering the slow cooker if necessary, and sprinkling with parsley.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

230 Calories
7g Fat
31g Carbs
12g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 10
Calories 230
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 2g 11%
Cholesterol 8mg 3%
Sodium 373mg 16%
Total Carbohydrate 31g 11%
Dietary Fiber 8g 28%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 12g
Vitamin C 9mg 44%
Calcium 84mg 6%
Iron 3mg 19%
Potassium 778mg 17%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.