Cuban red beans are called frijoles colorados in Spanish. They are typically served with white rice as a side dish or as a standalone thick bean soup.

Prepare the beans for cooking by sorting, rinsing, and soaking. Use the quick soak or the overnight method.

Prepare a sofrito. Heat olive oil in a 10 inch, non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 3 minutes, stir frequently.

Add the garlic, tomato paste, salt, oregano, cumin, and pepper. Stir to combine. Cook for 1-2 minutes stir constantly. Remove the skillet from the heat.

Add the beans, 10 cups of water, ham shanks, the prepared sofrito, and the chicken base to a large pot, stir well to combine.

Bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 1 hour. Then, remove the smoked ham, and let cool. Continue cooking the beans.

Chop the ham, discard fat and bones. Add it to the pot. Continue cooking the beans (covered) for another 15-20 min. Try a couple of beans to see if they are close to done.

When the beans are soft, uncover the pot to allow the liquid to thicken. This process can take from 35-55 min. depending on how much liquid is left and how thick you want them.

Taste the beans and add salt if needed as a reference we added ¼ teaspoon to ours. Serve them with white rice or bread, if desired.