Borracho Beans

"A traditional Mexican bean soup, kicked up with serrano peppers and beer. This is a very forgiving recipe - add, subtract, substitute to your heart's content."
photo by Annacia photo by Annacia
photo by Annacia
Ready In:
3hrs 20mins




  • Sort through the beans. Look for small rocks and debris.
  • Place in a large bowl and rinse several times. Lift beans out by hand into a clean bowl of water. Do not pour beans as there may be sand and debris at the bottom of rinse bowl.
  • Fill bowl with water and soak beans overnight. Drain off soaking water.
  • In a large soup pot, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil and add beans & beer.
  • Lower heat to simmer, cover pan and cook about 2 hours.
  • When the beans are light brown and soft, add salt, garlic and serrano peppers.
  • In a skillet over medium-high heat, fry bacon pieces and onion until bacon is crisp. Add to beans.
  • Lastly, add the cilantro and fresh tomatoes. Simmer for another hour. (either peel the tomatoes first or skim off bits of peel as they float to the top during cooking.).
  • Serve with flour or corn tortillas. Cornbread is great, too!
  • *If you are too busy to babysit a pot of beans, after the overnight soak, simmer in your crock pot; 3 cups of beans for a large crock pot, 2 cups of beans for a smaller crock pot. Cooking time for pre-soaked beans = 5-6 hours on low heat.".

Questions & Replies

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  1. With the beer it is Barracho, without it is ala-charra. Put the beer in when you start the beans and it won't be bitter and the alcohol will be evaporated. Use ancho chili powder or fresh ground.
  2. I've made these a few times and each time they come out excellent. Definitely a winner at cookouts and family get togethers.
  3. Wanted a different supper. This was pretty good too! Next time I will use a little bit less cilantro, I'm just not a huge fan of it! thanks for posting!
  4. There are excellent! I made them w/ some tweaks. I save the bone from a ham and use that instead of the bacon. The leftover ham falls off the bone and is YUMMY. I also have little kids so I leave the chili peppers out and use a bit of chili powder instead so I can better control the heat. I've also used canned tomatoes when I didn't have fresh on hand or it was out of season. Just keep tasting and adding as you like. It's Sooo good. I'll make a huge pot and then use the beans for other Mexican type dishes - like refry them, and make them last a long time.
  5. I love the taste personally. Thanks! But perhaps people should realize before making this dish is that Borracho beans are translated "drunken beans". They are supposed to taste like beer, hence the name.


  1. I cooked these beans in the crockpot today. I started out on low, but after about 4 hours they weren't even close to done so I switched them to high and cooked another 4 hours and they were perfect. I know everyone's crockpot is different--just letting others out there know that it could take longer than 5-6 hours on low. I made three changes. One, I ommited the onion (accidentally). Two, instead of roma tomatoes, I used a can of Rotel. Three, I poured some of the bacon grease into the crockpot with the beans. This recipe is wonderful! I loved the extra dimension the beer added to the dish. Served with cornbread and it made a yummy dinner tonight. Thanks SusieQusie!
  2. I'm not going to star this recipe. I used the crockpot method and that worked well in the summer heat. As for the beer I used Becks, left out any peppers so that DH would eat this and used ham instead of bacon and I had to use some dried cilantro (no where near a cup full, maybe a 1/4). DH and I both think we would have enjoyed these more without the beer. I really had felt that we would find that the beer was a good plus with pinto's and while it certainly wasn't bad, it did impart a taste that we didn't enjoy as much as I had hoped. That didn't keep us from eating a bowl each and I put this to personal taste only and find no fault at all in the recipe.
  3. These are, by far, the best beans I've ever had and everyone that tried them said the same thing. I cooked these at a music festival/chili cookoff last weekend, and everyone that tried them wanted the recipe. I went out there without the recipe and, well, there were a few more beers flowing than what went into the recipe, so some changes were made. I used 5 seeded jalapenos instead of serranos, and a can of drained diced tomatoes instead of the fresh. I used my own bean seasoning which is a mixture of lots of stuff, I may post it later. I used Shiner Blonde beer because, well, this is Texas after all! I made the beans again when we got home using Miller Lite, and although good it wasn't the same. I definitely recommend a beer with some gusto to it. I'm actually making this recipe again today, because we are totally hooked on these beans! Thanks for sharing, your recipe is being enjoyed all over Texas right now.


<p>Hello from suburban Fort Worth, Texas! <br /> <br /><br /> <br />______________________________________________ <br /> <br /> <br />*My rating system defined* <br /> <br />Very few recipes really knock my socks off - I love to cook but am not a gourmet. <br />This said: <br /> <br />***** - met all my expectations in taste &amp; appearance; directions were clear &amp; easy to follow. <br /> <br />**** - fell slightly short of my expectations in taste or appearance or directions were faulty or not completely clear. <br /> <br />*** - mediocre taste and/or appearance; most likely a recipe that I would not use again without much modification. <br /> <br />** - taste and/or appearance was not to my liking; a recipe that I would not attempt to modify or use again. <br /> <br />* - taste was absolutely not to my liking (I can't imagine ever using this rating as I can generally tell by the ingredients if I will enjoy the finished product or not) <br /> <br /> <br /><img src= alt= /> <br />&nbsp;<br />&nbsp;<br /><img src= alt= /> <br />&nbsp;<br /><br />&nbsp;</p>
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