Frijoles Borrachos - Drunk Mexican Beans with Beer, Bacon and Chilis
It wouldn't be difficult to argue that beans are the most frequently made dish in Mexican home cooking. One of the things we love most about beans is their versatility. While these "drunk beans" may not look that interesting, the addition of beer, bacon and chilis makes sure their flavor is anything but boring. Try serving them as a warm soup, a dip, as a side, with grilled tortillas, or as a taco filling.
- 1 lb. of dry beans (pinto, bayo or black, your choice)
- 6 slices of bacon, chopped
- 1 large white onion, finely chopped
- 2 large tomatoes, diced
- 12 oz. of beer (we like to use Negro Modelo)
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 large serrano peppers, seeded and chopped (or other chili peppers of your choosing)
- queso fresco or cotija cheese (optional)
- tortillas or tortilla chips to accompany
- Sort your beans to make sure there are no rocks or beans that have gone bad.
- Soak the beans in water overnight (in the fridge).
- Drain and rinse the beans thoroughly.
- Put the beans into a large pot with enough water to cover them by 3 inches, bring to a strong boil.
- Remove any beans that float to the top of the water or any foam that forms at the surface.
- Once the water is boiling, reduce to medium, cover and continue to cook, stirring occasionally.
- While the beans are cooking, cook the bacon over med-high in a frying pan until crisp and then remove from the pan and set aside.
- Add the chopped onion to the pan with the leftover bacon fat and cook for a few minutes until soft.
- When the onion is soft, add the garlic, tomato and chili peppers and cook for a minute or two more.
- The beans should cook for about an hour. The water level should remain at least an inch above the beans, if it falls lower, add boiled water as necessary.
- When the beans start to become tender, add the beer and continue to boil until the beans are fully cooked.
- When the beans are cooked, add the tomato / onion / chili mixture and bacon into the pot and stir well.
- Let everything continue to cook, uncovered, over med-low heat for 15 minutes more, stirring occasionally.
- Test for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste as necessary.
- If you are serving the frijoles borrachos as a soup, they are done at this point. If you want to serve them as a dip, side or filling, Mash some of the beans against the side of the pot with the back of a spoon and stir in to thicken the broth; the more you smash, the thicker the broth becomes. Cook and mash, stirring occasionally, until the beans achieve the consistency you desire.
- Sprinkle with cheese (optional) and serve with chips, warm tortillas or tostadas.
You'll find a lot of variety in the preparation of frijoles borrachos (also known as frijoles charros - Mexican cowboy beans), so try making this recipe several times, changing the ingredients a bit to determine what variations you enjoy most. In addition to variety in the ingredients used to make frijoles borrachos, they also vary in their final consistency. We prefer a thicker consistency and to serve them as a dip with chips or as a filling for tacos and burritos. For a vegetarian or vegan version, omit the use of bacon and try using chipotle peppers to keep the flavor a little smokey. For a quicker version of this dish, you can use a pressure cooker or pre-cooked beans.