Prep 20 mins
Cook 2 hrs 40 mins
These beans are wonderful. If you're short on time, you can even use canned pinto beans. But try making from scratch, as it makes a HUGE difference! This is Rick Bayless' version of Frijoles Charros.
- 1 1⁄4 cups dried pinto beans
- 5 cups water
- 1⁄2 cup pork shoulder, cubed (or extra bacon)
- 4 slices bacon, thick, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 small white onion, cut into 1/4 inch dice
- 2 serrano chilies or 1 jalapeno chile
- 3⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons tequila, to taste
- 1⁄4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
- Sort and rinse the beans thoroughly. Scoop into a 4 quart saucepan.
- Add 5 cups water; remove any beans that float.
- Add the cubed pork (or extra chopped bacon) and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and gently simmer, partially covered, until tender, about 2 hours.
- Stir gently occasionally, and keep water level a good 1/2 inch above the level of the beans.
- In a medium skillet, fry the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon but leave behind the drippings.
- Pour off all the drippings except 2 Tablespoons.
- Return pan to medium heat.
- Add the onions and chiles and fry until deep golden brown, about 10 minutes.
- Scrape the onion mixture into the beans; taste and season with salt.
- Continue simmering, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes to blend the flavors.
- If the beans seem soupy, boil over medium heat until they are the consistency of a nice brothy bean soup.
- You can also take 1/4 of the beans and run them through the blender with a bit of broth, then return to pan.
- Just before serving, stir in the tequila and cilantro.
- Serve in warm bowls topped with the crumbled bacon.
I have been making these beans for years from my first Rick Bayless cookbook. They are really wonderful and always a big hit. I have never made them with canned beans, although it would probably work, but the slow cooked beans have a great texture and the taste is great.