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Cuban Black Beans and Rice recipe - Moros y Cristianos

Cuban moros y cristianos

No other dish represents Cuban cuisine better than Moros y Cristianos.  Seasoned black beans served with fluffy white rice. Some Cubans serve rice topped with beans, others mix them. I myself top the rice with beans, and let my guests decide for themselves!

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes

  • Cook Time: 3 hours 10 minutes

  • Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes

This recipe is for Cuban black beans from scratch. But when I'm short on time, I use canned beans. The quick and easy version is at the bottom of the page. 


Rice Ingredients:


1 cup long grain rice
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon olive oil


Beans Ingredients:

1 pound dried black beans
4 cups of water
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
pound salt pork, chopped
1 pound smoked ham hocks, cut in 1 inch pieces
2 teaspoons paprika
3 teaspoons ground cumin
2 bay leaves
4 cups chicken stock
teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon vinegar
salt and pepper to taste



Place black beans and water in large stock pot. Cover and boil two minutes. Turn off heat and let stand covered for 1 hour.

Remove the lid and add the rest of the ingredients, except for the vinegar, salt and pepper. There should be enough water to just cover the beans, so if necessary add a bit of water. Cover and simmer until the beans are tender, about 2 hours.


About 30 minutes before the beans are done, get started on your rice. Add the two cups of water, olive oil and salt to a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add the rice, stir, and cover the saucepan. Reduce heat to medium low. Cook for 20 minutes, without removing the lid.


As the rice is cooking, return to the pot with the beans. Take the ham hocks out of the beans, and remove the bones. Return the meat back to the pot. Add the tablespoon of vinegar, plus salt and pepper to taste. Let the beans continue to simmer.


When the rice has finished cooking for 20 minutes, remove the saucepan from heat, and fluff the rice with a fork. Serve the rice in a bowl or on a plate, and spoon the black bean mix over the rice.  It's perfectly fine if the beans have a "soupy" consistency. Serves 8.



Serving Tips:


Some cooks or restaurants will mix the cooked black beans with rice before serving them. Others will simply spoon the black beans on top of the rice or place them side by side, so people can mix them together themselves.


There's no wrong way to serve it. But typically for every cup of cooked white rice, you would serve it with a half or full cup of cooked black beans. I love black beans, so my plate is usually 50/50 beans and rice.


Quick and Easy Beans:


I love making black beans the traditional way, but I don't always have the time to do it. If you're in a hurry, you can use canned beans.  You need a 16 ounce can of black beans (frijoles negros), I typically use Goya or La Costena.


In a small pot or saucepan, I add two tablespoons of olive oil, and put it over medium heat. Add half of a white onion, diced, and sautee until you can almost see through it. Add a clove of garlic, minced, and cook for only one minute until the aroma is released (don't cook it until brown).


Add the can of beans, plus salt, pepper and oregano (to taste). Raise heat to high, stirring frequently, and cook until the mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and stir occasionally as your rice is cooking. The entire cooking time is usually 20 minutes, or about as long as it takes for the rice to be ready.

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