½ - 1chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped (optional, but recommended for a smoky spice)*
1cupfresh chopped cilantro (about 1/2 bunch)
Salt and pepper, to taste
12oz.dark beer(Mexican beer, if possible)
Cook the Pinto beans:*
Pour beans into a colander and rinse them off, removing any unwanted pieces. Add to a large pot with 6 cups of water (or enough to cover them by about 2 inches), a small chunk of onion, bay leaf and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 1 to 2 hours, until the beans are tender, but not bursting. (Mine usually take about 1 hour but depends on how dry/old your beans are). Check them a few times during cooking to make sure they are covered in water and add a little more water if needed.
Once the beans are tender, drain them, reserving 1/4 cup of the liquid. Set aside.
Make Charro Beans:
Add the bacon to a large pot and cook for about 5 minutes or until cooked. Remove some of the grease. Add onion and garlic and cook until onion is translucent. Add ham (or sausages), diced tomatoes, peppers, cilantro, oregano, paprika, cumin, black pepper and cook for 5 additional minutes.
Add the cooked beans, reserved broth, and beer. Simmer for 15 minutes.
Taste and season with salt and pepper, or additional spices if needed.
Serve garnished with cilantro, as a meal with warm tortillas, or as a side dish.
To use canned beans: Substitute 5-6 cups of canned pinto beans, reserving 1/4 cup of the liquid from the cans. Add the beans and liquid in step 2, under "Make Borracho Beans".Tomatoes: I often substitute a 15-ounce can diced tomatoes with green chilies or habaneros and leave out the jalapeño in the recipe.Chipotle peppers canned in adobo sauce are located in the Mexican aisle at the grocery store. You only need 1/2 or 1 whole pepper (depending on your spice preference) for this recipe. You can add the leftover chilis and sauce to a freezer bag and freeze for later use.Beer: If you don't want to add alcohol, make charro beans instead (similar recipe but uses chicken broth instead of beer).Vegetarian/Vegan Borracho Beans: omit the meat and add vegan chorizo, extra beans (like black beans), or additional vegetables like tomato, celery, and bell pepper. Also substitute 1 tsp vegetable bouillon.Instant Pot Borracho Beans: Turn Instant Pot to sauté setting. Add bacon and cook. Remove some of the grease. Add the onions and garlic, and cook until the onions are softened. Add ham, diced tomatoes, peppers, cilantro, oregano, paprika, cumin, and cook for 5 additional minutes. Add dry beans and 4 cups of chicken broth, and beer. Secure the lid and cook on high pressure for 30 minutes (or add 10 minutes if beans are older/dryer). Allow the pressure to naturally release before removing the lid (about 20-30 minutes). Taste and season with salt and pepper.Slow Cooker Borracho Beans: Saute bacon, onion and garlic in a pan and add to slow cooker with ham, diced tomatoes, peppers, cilantro, oregano, paprika, cumin, dry beans, beer, and 4 cups of chicken broth. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-5 hours until beans are tender. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.