Frijoles Charros

Gino D' Acampo's transforms pinto beans into a boozy, subtly spicy dish, based on traditional cowboy food
By Gino D'Acampo
Frijoles Charros
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus overnight soaking
  • Effort: easy


  • 450 g pinto beans
  • 120 ml beer
  • 115 g pickled jalapeƱo chillies, slices, drained and chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 175 g fatty bacon
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 175 g smokedlardons of bacon
  • 3 tbsp piloncillo ordark brown sugar
  • corn tortillas, to serve


1. Cover the pinto beans in cold water and leave to soak overnight.

2. When you are ready to begin cooking, drain the beans and place in a saucepan. Pour over cold water to cover and simmer for 1-2 hours, until the beans are tender. Drain and transfer the beans to a clean pan.

3. Stir in the beer and cook over a high heat for 5 minutes, until half the beer has been absorbed.

4. Lower the heat slightly and stir in the chopped jalapeno chillies, tomatoes and cinnamon. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, heat the fatty bacon in a frying pan until the fat runs (the quantity suggested should yield 3 tbsp bacon fat).

6. Discard the bacon, then add the onion and garlic to the pan and fry for about 5 minutes, until browned. Using a slotted spoon, lift out the garlic and onions and stir them into the beans.

7. Add the smoked bacon lardons to the fat remaining in the frying pan and fry until crisp.

8. Stir the cooked lardons and any remaining fat into the beans and mix well.

9. Stir in the Piloncillo (or sugar if using). Cook the mixture over a low heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar has dissolved. Serve immediately or spoon into a bowl, leave to cool, cover then chill for reheating next day. Serve with warm tortillas.

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