Frijoles Borrachos
(Drunken Beans)

Serves 12

Beer and beans may sound like an unlikely combination, but the yeasty aroma released as the beer boils with the bacon, chiles, and onions will convince you. Of course, the folks who live in northern Mexico and South Texas are very fond of their beer, an ingredient that marks this bean recipe as a signature norteño dish. A restaurant standard, these beans pair perfectly with Enchiladas Norteñas (see page 65 of the book) to make the quintessential Tex-Mex meal.

1 pound dried pinto beans, picked over and washed
1 medium onion, chopped
1 pound bacon or salt pork, chopped
2 serrano chiles, chopped
1 bunch cilantro, chopped (about 1 ounce)
1 large tomato, diced
3 garlic cloves
Salt and pepper to taste
1 (12-ounce) can beer

FILL a 6-quart stockpot with water and add all ingredients. Bring to a boil, cover with the lid slightly ajar to allow for steam to escape, and simmer for 3 hours, until the beans are tender.

FOR EXTRA FLAVORFUL REFRITOS, sauté 2 to 3 tablespoons of leftover pico de gallo (see page 104) in the oil for a minute or two before adding the beans. Once the beans are added and heated through, mash as you would regular refritos.

NOTE: I have found that borracho beans do not keep in the refrigerator as well as other beans, which I attribute to the yeast in the beer. That's all the more reason to save this bean recipe for when you invite a hungry crowd to dinner. Or, as this is a large recipe, freeze the leftovers within 48 hours of cooking the beans.


Buy the Book!


Dishes from the Wild Horse Desert
Norteño Cooking of South Texas

by Melissa Guerra
Hardcover; $29.95
ISBN: 0-7645-5892-7
Recipe reprinted by permission.


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