April 30, 2012

Frijoles Borracho (Drunken Beans)

This recipe didn't start out with my yen for a bowl of beans. Oh, no. It started with a hunger for my newly discovered favorite thing. Amish Butter. A 2# hand-rolled log of this butter - not made by the Amish - but made in Amish Country, will set you back about $8, but it is so totally worth it. If you can find it in your area, you must give it a try!

So, what does butter have to do with beans? Cornbread, of course. I wanted straight-from-the-oven hot cornbread so I could slather the butter on it. What goes with cornbread? Beans! 

I have never used a recipe when making a pot of beans, so thought it was time that I jotted everything down. We have some beer in the fridge that isn't my gardener's brand (we'd bought it for guests) so I wanted to use some of that up. Aha! Drunken beans!
This is an easy recipe if you use a Crock-Pot. If not, everything can be done on the stove in a heavy pan or dutch oven. The smoked ham hock adds delicious flavor to these beans, and beer makes for a deep and mellow tasting sauce. 

Frijoles Borracho (Drunken Beans)
1# dried pinto beans
5 cloves garlic, sliced
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
3 jalapenos, seeded and finely diced
1 smoked ham hock
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp cumin
2 cans beer
Cilantro (for garnish)
Queso Fresco (for garnish)

Put beans into a large bowl and cover with water 1" over the top of the beans. Let soak overnight.

Drain beans and discard water. Add all ingredients (except garnishes) to a crock pot and mix well. Cook on high for 3 hours, then low for 7 hours, or until beans are tender. Retrieve ham hock and remove meat from bones. Discard bones and return meat to the Crock-Pot. Serve in bowls and garnish with chopped cilantro and crumbled Queso Fresco.


  1. Oh yum...have always loved pinto beans, and smelling them for hours....ahhhh

  2. I am also into the beans this week. Love the idea of serving them with cornbread; never had that.

  3. Drunken beans for a drunken gal...perfect for me ;) Love that Amish butter, I buy it at 2Js occasionally.

  4. this looks great, i've never had pinto beans before! i might need to change that!

  5. Funny. I just made beans that were fantastic. I never thought to add beer. Pinto beans are my favorite, and I need to try your version the next time I make them (which I do often).

  6. Sounds delicious! I love using my Crock Pot, so this is going to happen this week! Thanks.

  7. I promise I will keep an eye out for that butter, but I want to say, this recipe for the beans sounds really good. Even better than the Rick Bayless I've used for years. A must try! Pinning.

  8. An excuse to eat both cornbread AND a large bowl of delicious beans SMOTHERED in queso? I'll take it! This looks awesome.

  9. I love cooking with beer- it adds so much flavor to the dish with so little effort. These beans look so good. I mentioned you today in my post since you were the one that taught me about cualiflower steaks. I love them now that I am paleo- so cauliflower gets a lot of use at my house! Thanks!!

  10. Printed this!
    The beans and ham hock reminds me of my Mom making a bean dish almost every week. We would put the cooked beans in a bowl and drizzle dark karo syrup over them. Loved them.

  11. Like these, but I'm always "over the top"...so...I use 3 cups chix stock, one 24oz can of Modelo (light or dark). 2 diced white or Spanish onions sautéed until soft. 1ucan of Rotel 'chili' diced tomato. Two toasted rehydrated ancho (dried) peppers purreed w/liquid in a blender. 1 or 2 cubes of Knorr's "Tomate y Chipotle" bullion. And 2 each ham hocks and smoked turkey wings. Soak the beans overnight in water with 2 Tbsp kosher salt. Put the hocks and wings in the broth and beer in the AM and add a couple of bay leaves bring to a simmer and skim off foam. Add beans and seasonings. Do Not Salt! Cook until tender, adding chilli powder and smoked cumin to taste. Remove bones and add shredded meat back to pot. Check seasonings, salt if necessary. Mash some beans to thicken if desired. It's truly a full meal with tortillas or cornbread.


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