Xiomara's Cuban Pork, Plantain and Frijoles



In a saucepan large enough to accommodate all of your beans, fry half a finely chopped white onion in a glug of oil

Add your beans to the pan and switch to a low heat

Then add:

Your mashed up bulb of garlic

A glug of oil

4 tbsp of vinegar

100 ml of water mixed with half of a vegetable stock cube

1 bay leaf

1.5 tbsp of sugar

1.5 tsp of cumin

 Simmer with the lid on while you prepare the rest of the meal. Add a little water if your beans begin to stick.



Marinate your 6 pork chops for minimum one hour with a pestle and mortar mix of:

A glug of oil

One bulb of garlic

1 tsp of dried orange

A dash of red wine vinegar

3 tbsp of soy sauce

In a heavy skillet pan, sizzle your chops for two minutes either side, on a high heat

Lower the heat to medium

Add half a can of beer

Half a cup of water mixed with the other half of your vegetable stock cube left over from the beans

Continue to cook, covered for 15 minutes (turn your chops over half way through this time)

Then uncover and cook for a further 5 minutes to cook off the sauce



Slice your plantain into 5mm thick slices (width ways)

Heat up a ½ cup of vegetable oil in your frying pan

Sizzle your plantain slices, taking care to ensure they don’t stick to each other (you may have to do them in batches)

Fry for ten minutes (or until brown)

Remove onto a plate with kitchen paper, which will soak up any excess oil

Serve with a tomato and cucumber salad and boiled rice

A total magician in the kitchen, Xiomara can make a meal out of anything. Dependent on what’s available to her in Cuba, she’ll add a mix of whatever flavourful ingredients she might have in her cupboard (the Soy sauce adds a salty kick and the beer a sweet richness) in order to add a punch to this staple Cuban meal of pork, rice and beans. We cooked this in the kitchen with Xiomara and her grandson, Luis, then ate with the entire family gathered around a tiny table.

If you prefer not to fry the pork, use the same marinade (including the beer and water addition) then stick in the oven for half an hour).


White onion

2 400g cans of black beans (drained)

2 bulbs of garlic, finely mashed in a pestle and mortar with 1 tsp of salt

Vegetable oil

Vinegar (we used apple cider, Xiomara used any she can get her hands on!)


Vegetable stock cube

Bay leaf

1.5 tbsp of sugar

1.5 tsp of cumin


6 pork chops

1 bulb finely chopped garlic

1tsp dried orange powder

8 tbsp of red wine vinegar

Stock cube

Soy sauce

1 can of beer


2 plantains