Main Courses

Borracho Beans

Posted: December 20

Time: 10 hours 45 minutes

Yield: 12 servings

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Borracho Beans most literally translates to "drunken beans," referring to the dark lager beer soaking the savory, creamy pinto beans. Malty, meaty, and sweet, Borracho Beans are a uniquely seasoned and savory sensation, with a satisfying amount of spice and heat to warm your soul during the winter season. You could even say these beans are intoxicatingly delicious!


1 pound dried pinto beans
1/2 pound bacon
1 small onion, diced
1 jalapeño, diced, seeds and veins removed for reduced spice
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder, or regular chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano, Mexican oregano preferred
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (12-ounce) bottle dark lager beer
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped


Step 1

Pour the pinto beans into a large bowl and remove any shriveled or split beans.

Step 2

Fully cover the beans with water until there is at least 3 inches of water covering them.

Step 3

Let the beans soak in the water at room temperature for at least 8 hours and up to overnight.

Step 4

Drain and rinse the beans under cool water. They should have doubled in size.

Step 5

Transfer the beans to a large pot or dutch oven and add 10 cups of water.

Step 6

Bring the beans to a boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer.

Step 7

Cover and cook the beans until they are tender and cooked through but not mushy, about 2-2 1/2 hours.

Step 8

Drain the cooked beans and transfer them to a large bowl. Set them aside.

Step 9

Rinse and dry the pot. Then return the pot to the stove-top and heat over medium-high heat.

Step 10

Add the bacon and cook until it is browned and crispy.

Step 11

Transfer the bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain and set aside. Reserve the drippings in the pot.

Step 12

Add the onions and jalapeño to the pot, cooking for 5 minutes and scraping up any browned bits at the bottom of the pot.

Step 13

Add the garlic powder, chili powder, ancho chili powder, oregano, salt, and cumin, stirring and cooking until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Step 14

Add the cooked pinto beans, diced tomatoes, beer, and brown sugar.

Step 15

Stir to combine and cook to a low simmer.

Step 16

Simmer the beans for 15 minutes, then remove the pot from the heat.

Step 17

Stir in the cooked bacon and cilantro.

Step 18

Serve immediately.

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