Before visiting South Padre Island, Texas this past March, I had never heard of Charro Beans. But they were served in every Mexican restaurant we ate at in South Texas and bursting with flavor but HOT! Back home, I did some research and learned Charro Beans are common in Northern Mexico which made sense to me, because we were right at the border. I also learned there are as many recipe variations as there are pinto beans in a bag. This is the version I came up with and they are mighty tasty. You can make them as hot as you like by using a serrano pepper and a whole chipotle in adobo sauce. This dish is well worth the time and effort for something unique to add to your Mexican food repertoire. Plan on soaking the beans overnight prior to cooking. They were perfect with my Fabulous Pork Fajitas.
This is what we’ll need.
Mexican Charro Beans
- 4 slices thick sliced bacon, chopped
- 5 oz fresh pork chorizo
- 1 cup diced ham
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 plum tomatoes, diced
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced serrano if you like it hotter
- 1/2 whole Chipotle in Adobo sauce use 1 whole if you want to breathe fire
- 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro plus more for serving
- 3/4 tsp cumin
- 3/4 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- Rinse and sort the pinto beans. Place beans in a large soup kettle with 6 cups water and let soak overnight. Drain, rinse and return the beans to the kettle. Add 6 cups of water, the onion, bay leaves and salt. Bring the beans to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook for 50-60 minutes just until tender but not split.
- Drain the beans reserving 3 cups of the cooking liquid. Remove and discard the onion and bay leaves. Set the beans aside.
- In the same kettle, add the chopped bacon and chorizo. Cook and stir over low heat, breaking up the sausage for about 10 minutes until both bacon and sausage are rendered of fat. Discard any excess fat. My bacon was fairly lean so I did not have to remove any fat.
- Bacon and sausage should look like this.
- Stir in the onion and garlic. Cook until onion has softened, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the diced tomatoes, jalapeno, chipoltle in adobo, cumin, oregano, smoke paprika and salt. Cook and stir over low heat for 10 minutes.
- Stir in the beans, ham, sausage and bacon. Add 2 cups of the reserved liquid and the cilantro. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add additional reserved liquid to keep the beans "soupy", not dry.
- Serve hot, in bowls topped with cilantro and enjoy! We enjoyed these fabulous beans with my Fabulous Pork Fajitas. Great combination!