Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Mexican Pinto Beans (Charro Beans)

While living in Houston quite a few years back, we enjoyed our share of TEX-MEX! We had our favorites of Pappasitas and Lupe Tortillas. All of these restaurants serve Mexican style pinto beans with fajitas, etc. that are called Charro Beans. I was determined to try to copy these beans. I am not a huge bean fan but my hubby loves them. This is what we came up with. They are actually very yummy-I think you will be quite impressed!

Mexican Pinto Beans

1 lb. dried pinto beans
3 qts water
½ - 1 lb. bacon (more gives them more flavor)
1 medium onion, chopped
3 dried red chile pods, rinsed, stemmed, seeded and chopped
(you can find these in the produce – I used my kitchen shears)
3 – 4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
5 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander

Cover beans with cold water. Let stand five minutes, stir and pour through a strainer. Rinse well under cold water and repeat procedure twice. In a large stockpot, combine beans with cold water. Cover by about one inch. *I like ours thicker and with less water – You can add more water if you need to – just check on them. Stir in bacon, onion, chile pods, garlic, cumin and coriander. Bring just to a boil. Lower heat and partially cover the pan. Simmer for at least 2 hours. Add salt and simmer for another hour. * I simmered mine for quite a bit longer to reach the desired consistency – thicker and tender. I made them the day ahead and heated them up the next day. On the third day, I took the left overs and squished them with a potato masher. I layered them in pan with grated cheese on top. I heated them and served them with chips and sour cream!!!

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