Beans That Any Cow Poke Could Love
Charro Beans is a traditional dish named after the Mexican Cowboy… In Spanish called Frijoles charros and Frijoles a la charra or Cowboy Beans…
Can you image how good these must have tasted to a tried and hungry Cowboy, after a hard day of herding livestock? I can image the chuck wagon cook whipping these up for his crew… I read that they often ate them for breakfast, I wouldn’t mind eating them for breakfast…
Prepare The Beans
Preparing the beans for cooking will take most of the time for this recipe and should be started the day before you want them… Some people do not soak the beans, but soaking them unlocks nutrients that are bound in the bean. Every seed or bean has been programmed to lock up nutrients to prevent them from sprouting when the conditions are not conducive for survival, by soaking the beans we activate and unlock the nutrients in the bean, cooking alone does not unlock.
Fresh Beans are the fastest and easiest beans to cook they do not take as long to soften. To make sure you have the freshest pinto beans possible, when shopping for pinto beans look for the lightest colored ones you can find, the darker the pinto bean the older it is, I learned this from experience.
If your beans are older after soaking let them sprout a day or two before using, it is said to make the older beans cook and soften faster.
You can find instructions for preparing the beans here.
Prepare Other Ingredients
- Bacon – Cut into 1/4 inch strips crosswise
- Onion – Peel, rinse, and dice.
- Bell Pepper – Wash, rinse, and dice.
- Garlic – Peel, rinse and chop fine
- Jalapeno Pepper – Wash, rinse and cut up peppers, the juice from hot peppers like jalapenos will get in your skin and will not wash off easily, so if you a sensitive to hot peppers wear gloves, and do not touch your eyes or any sensitive area after touching the juices. When cutting the pepper a smaller cut will release more of the pepper juice and I think makes the dish hotter, so if you just want a little flavor and not too much heat make the cut larger.
- Cilantro – Cut off the stem ends and discard, then rinse cilantro in cool water, drain and chop fine.
- Tomatoes – Blanch and peel, then dice. You won’t need these until the beans are almost done, and can be prepared while beans are cooking.
I don’t have an exact measurement for water, I add from 2 – 3 inches over the top of the beans before adding anything to them, it might be 4-6 cups if you need a starting point, but 2 or 3 inches is my measure, more water more juice. You could also substitute vegetable or chicken broth for water. Water works for me, it is cheap.
Putting It Altogether
Start by crisping up the bacon, and softening the onion, garlic & bell pepper. Then add the beans, water, powder seasonings, everything except the tomatoes.
When the beans are getting softer but are not done, add the tomatoes, continue cooking till the beans are soft
When the beans are done taste them and adjust seasonings, salt is where I would start then if you think it needs more of something add it.
Do You Make Charro Beans?
I would like to know what you thought of our Favorite Charro Beans, have you heard of Charro beans before, maybe you make your own, let me know what you think, please leave a comment below.
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- 1-lb or 2 cups of pinto beans, sorted, rinsed, soaked & drained
- 4 slices thick cut bacon cut in 1/4 inch strips crosswise
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1 medium bell pepper washed, deseeded & diced
- 3 cloves fresh garlic peeled & chopped fine
- 1 – 2 jalapenos washed, deseeded, chopped fine
- 1/2 bunch or 2 cups fresh cilantro washed, chopped fine
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground pepper
- 1/4 tbsp. powdered cumin
- 1/2 tbsp. granulated garlic
- 1/2 tbsp. powdered sweet paprika or pasilla chili powder
- 1/4 tsp liquid smoke
- 2 cups fresh tomatoes blanched, skin removed & chopped
- In a large pot, add bacon and cook on medium until oils are released, then add chopped; onion, bell pepper & garlic. Cook until bacon is crispy.
- To the pot, add soaked and drained pinto beans, and enough water to cover by 2-3 inches.
- Then add everything else except tomatoes; jalapeno, cilantro, salt, pepper, cumin, garlic powder, sweet paprika, liquid smoke, and mix.
- Bring the pot of beans to a boil, then reduce heat to a slow simmer, let cook till beans are almost soft but not quite done, then add peeled and chopped tomatoes. Continue cooking till beans are soft.
- Adjust salt to taste when beans are done…