Over the summer I put out the call for baked bean recipes from readers suitable for tailgates or a feeding a living room full of football fans this fall, much like we did for the Super Bowl Guacamole Extravaganza last season. Instead of overwhelming everyone with bean recipes all at once, we’ll run BEANS! as an occasional series through the regular season.

The first in our 2012 BEANS! feature is this wonderfully thick, bean-forward recipe for Frijoles Borrachos (Drunken Beans) from Haverly. With pinto beans, garlic, onions, salt, bacon, tomato, beer and a little time, you get a hearty side that compliments grilled and barbecued items perfectly. Set these beans out with warm tortillas, sauteed vegetables, seasoned rice, pico de gallo, and some guacamole and you’ve got yourself a burrito bar. Like most bean recipes, this dish reheats beautifully so if you want to make them the night before a tailgate you can, just be sure to put the pot on the side of the grill with low heat and not the side of the grill you’ve got set to MEGA FLAMES for hot dogs in twenty seconds or less.

Take it away, Haverly!

Longtime fan of the Football Foodie – been following you since the early Deadspin days. I dream of the Buffalo Chicken Dip!

This recipe is the one that my Dad always used – my Mom’s family is Mexican and my parents met in San Antonio so by cooking with my maternal grandma, my Dad learned how to make beans, tortillas, tamales, you name it! Luckily he was able to pass this stuff down to us.

The recipe I have is labeled Perk Up Your Pots, March 26, 1979 – no idea if this is a book or an event, but I’ve got a number of great Mexican recipes on these pages. I love these beans plain with some homemade tortillas, but have also added the steps for Frijoles Borrachos as well in case you’re feeling adventurous!

PINTO BEANS
1 pound washed, dried pinto beans
1 clove garlic, or 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Place beans in a pot of cold water; the water should cover the beans by 3 or 4 inches. On highest heat, bring beans to a boil and let boil for 30 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 30 minutes. Add garlic, return to medium heat, cook until soft and tender. Add more water as needed, but towards the end of cooking time, add small amounts so the final bean broth is not watery.

*** cooking time 4-5 hours (HED note: I usually find 3-4 to be sufficient)

If desired, salt to taste the final 30-60 minutes.  May also add a whole, peeled onion at this time for flavoring.

FRIJOLES BORRACHOS

Cook desired quantity of pinto beans.

1-2 strips of bacon, fry until crisp
chopped onion, saute in bacon
chopped tomato, saute in bacon
1/2 can of beer
4 sprigs silantro [sic], chopped

Fry bacon until crisp. Saute onions and tomatoes, then add to beans. Add beer and silantro. Cook until beans are seasoned with other ingredients, 30-60 minutes, medium heat.

Hope you enjoy!

Haverly
@IAMHED

Of course wanting to be as thorough as possible, I had a couple of questions for Haverly:

So just to be clear, you leave the bacon in the pan when you add the onions and tomatoes, or do you take out the bacon saute the vegetables in the fat and then add the bacon back in? (I know it’s a silly question, but I want to be sure I make it correctly.)

And do you add the whole onion for flavoring to the beans when making the pintos or do you skip that step?

Her prompt response:

I would take the bacon out after it’s crisp and cook the onions and tomato just in the fat. Then you can crumble the bacon and add it all into the beans together. That’s how we normally do it, though it’s not specified in the recipe.

As for the onion – I always add it, but am not a fan of the onion breaking up after the 4 hours of cooking. A good way to prevent that is to stick a bunch of toothpicks through it before you add it in. It will keep it’s shape and then you can just take it out and toss it when you’re done.

Can’t wait to hear what you think!

Well, I liked the idea of flavoring the beans with onion twice, but couldn’t bear to toss out the first onion. Solution? I diced the first onion so fine that by time we were ready to make our pinto beans into drunken beans, the onion had completely cooked down and disappeared into the thick bean broth.

My cooking time for the pinto beans ended up being much shorter than both the original recipe and the hour or so less Haverly indicated she uses. I even skipped the 30 minute resting time all together because my beans were already so soft. (Variations in cooking times with pinto and black beans are usually attributed to age of the beans, elevation and even how hard the water used for cooking is in your area.) With the dried beans I had, my pinto bean preparation time went like this:

  • Bring the water and the beans to a boil over high heat in a large covered pot and then reduce heat simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Uncover and add one finely diced onion.
  • Simmer for 30 minutes more uncovered.
  • Add 1 teaspoon kosher salt and simmer for 30 more minutes

Again, if your beans are pretty soft after the first boil and simmer, feel free to skip the 30 minutes of resting the beans.

Turning the pinto beans into frijoles borrachos couldn’t have been easier.

  • Dice two slices of bacon and then fry until crispy.
  • Remove the bacon to drain and then saute a diced heirloom tomato and a diced onion in the rendered bacon fat for about 10-15 minutes.
  • Put the pot of pinto beans back on low heat and add the cooked bacon, tomato, onion, chopped cilantro and 6 ounces (3/4 cup) beer. I used Pacifico worked great, the pilsner style beer not overpowering the beans a bit.
  • Simmer for 30 minutes.
  • I wanted an even thicker bean, halfway between a refried bean and regular bean so I cooked these another 30 minutes at the lowest possible heat, but that’s a personal preference.

Top with a little cotija or Monterey Jack cheese and a sprig of cilantro for garnish and serve.

Thick with just a hint of meaty body from the bacon, the beer providing just a touch of sharpness along with the tomatoes and the onion providing the depth. The real star is — as it should be — the pinto beans.

Couldn’t think of a better way to kickoff BEANS! this year. Thanks, Haverly!

Still time to join the Football Foodies annual NFL pick’em league.

You might also like: Smoky Cowboy Caviar.

Google Voice number available for emergency recipe questions and texts (323) 963-4756, 9 AM PT – 10 PM PT, Saturday and Sundays.

Haverly’s Frijoles Borrachos (Drunken Beans): Football Foodie BEANS!
Print
Recipe type: side
Author: Haverly for sarahsprague.com / sarah @ sarahsprague.com
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 5 hours
Total time: 5 hours 15 mins
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • PINTO BEANS
  • 1 pound washed, dried pinto beans
  • 1 clove garlic, or 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 onion
  • salt (optional)
  • FRIJOLES BORRACHOS
  • Cook desired quantity of pinto beans.
  • 1-2 strips of bacon, fry until crisp
  • chopped onion, saute in bacon
  • chopped tomato, saute in bacon
  • 1/2 can of beer (6 ounces or 3/4 cup)
  • 4 sprigs cilantro, chopped
Instructions
  1. PINTO BEANS
  2. Place beans in a pot of cold water; the water should cover the beans by 3 or 4 inches.
  3. On highest heat, bring beans to a boil and let boil for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 30 minutes.
  5. Add garlic, return to medium heat, cook until soft and tender.
  6. Add more water as needed, but towards the end of cooking time, add small amounts so the final bean broth is not watery.
  7. *** cooking time 4-5 hours (HED note: I usually find 3-4 to be sufficient)
  8. If desired, salt to taste the final 30-60 minutes. May also add a whole, peeled onion at this time for flavoring.
  9. FRIJOLES BORRACHOS
  10. Fry bacon until crisp.
  11. Saute onions and tomatoes, then add to beans.
  12. Add beer and cilantro.
  13. Cook until beans are seasoned with other ingredients, 30-60 minutes, medium heat.
  14. SARAH’S VARIATION:
  15. Pinto Beans
  16. Bring the water and the beans to a boil over high heat in a large covered pot and then reduce heat simmer for 30 minutes.
  17. Uncover and add one finely diced onion.
  18. Simmer for 30 minutes more uncovered.
  19. Add 1 teaspoon kosher salt and simmer for 30 more minutes
  20. Frijoles Borrachos
  21. Dice two slices of bacon and then fry until crispy.
  22. Remove the bacon to drain and then saute a diced heirloom tomato and a diced onion in the rendered bacon fat for about 10-15 minutes.
  23. Put the pot of pinto beans back on low heat and add the cooked bacon, tomato, onion, chopped cilantro and 6 ounces (3/4 cup) Mexican pilsner beer like Pacifico or Bohemia.
  24. Simmer for 30 minutes.
  25. For an even thicker bean, halfway between a refried bean and regular bean so I cooked these another 30 minutes at the lowest possible heat. (Optional.)
  26. Top with a little cotija or Monterey Jack cheese and a sprig of cilantro for garnish and serve.
Notes

Variations in cooking times with pinto and black beans are usually attributed to age of the beans, elevation and even how hard the water used for cooking is in your area. Adjust cooking times as needed for the beans being used.

Be sure to rinse the pinto beans and pick out any small stones. (In all my years of picking over beans I’ve never actually seen a stone, but it can happen so better safe than having to run to the emergency dentist during the game.)

Do not presoak the beans.

 

 

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