Saturday, December 18, 2010

Frijoles Charros

As much as I love to cook and eat Mexican food, I had never figured out how to make a proper pot of pinto beans. Blasphemous, I know! Frank's step mom used to say, somewhat sarcastically, "I don't know what's wrong with your crockpot?". It wasn't our crockpot, it was us. We would cook beans for hours in the crockpot and they still just weren't right.

Making Frijoles Charros

Well I don't know why I never thought to simply follow a recipe!
There is a local restaurant that serves a cup of bean soup with your entree and it is oh so delicious. We had been wanting to recreate that at home for a long time.

Enter this recipe from my Rosa's New Mexican Table cookbook. I have had this cookbook for a little while and everything I have made from it has been delicious. I also ate at Rosa's in Atlanta a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it.

So, first things first. You have to cook a pot of pinto beans (properly). I did that following the instructions in my book and for the first time my beans came out just right. Here are the directions:

1 Pound Pinto Beans, rinsed and picked over
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 small white onion, coarsely chopped

Put the beans, onion, and 10 cups water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat Adjust the heat so the liquid is at a gentle boil and cook until the beans are somewhat tender, about 1 hour.

Stir in the salt. Continue cooking until the beans are tender but not mushy, 40 to 50 minutes. There should be enough liquid to cover the beans throughout cooking; if not, add warm water as necessary. Serve warm.

And now for the Frijoles Charros:

The consistency should be a little soupy, so it's best to serve them in a small bowl as a side dish or in a larger bowl as a meal. Also delicious topped with cilantro and pico de gallo.

6 thick strips bacon cut into 1/2" dice
1 med white onion finely chopped
1 jalepeno, finely chopped (I used serrano because that is what I had on hand)
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Cooked Pinto beans
Salt if necessary
Pico de gallo (optional)
Cilantro (optional)

Cook the bacon in a medium saucepan over medium heat until browned and crisp, about 6 minutes. Add the onion and jalapeno and cook, stirring, until the milky-white liquid given off by the onion has cooked away and the onion is softened, about 4 minutes.

Stir in the garlic and cumin. Add the beans and bring to a boil, then adjust the heat so the liquid is simmering. Cook until the liquid is lightly thickened, shiny, and has intensified in color, about 10 minutes. Add salt to taste if necessary.

Making Frijoles Charros
So flavorful, and so delicious!
I really can't describe how good this is, you just have to try it out for yourself.

We also made homemade tortillas to go with this recipe.
Making Frijoles Charros

I would describe this as a weekend meal, only because the beans need to cook for almost two hours. Despite the time, this is an easy recipe and it will be a staple for us this winter.
Making Frijoles Charros

4 comments:

Amy Nicole/RubyMtnBeads said...

Looks delicious! My mil used to tell me my beans never turned out right because my beans were old! I guess fresh beans are important! I'll have to give your recipe a go...

E² - Esther Eve Metalsmith said...

Wow, this sounds absolutely delicious, and fairly healthy too, (except for the bacon, but I'm a bacon whore and would never leave that out!). Living in Texas has given me a deep appreciation for good mexican food, and I'm always on the lookout for some yummy and warming soup type meals for the winter months.

Thanks so much for sharing, I think I'm going to give this one a try very soon!

Ashley said...

Thanks ladies, you should definitely try this recipe! It could be done without bacon and would be good, but I love what the flavor that the bacon gives.

Connie said...

Made me hungry just reading it. Enjoyed today. Love you