We’ve had a bag of dried pinto beans sitting on a shelf for a few months, which neither of us now remembers why we bought it.
So, when I thought about making Mexican rice, I figured I may as well come up with a recipe for using those pinto beans.
Homemade bean and rice burritos with some extra cotija we also had lying around sounded like a perfect dinner to me.
I just needed the beans recipe. Thankfully, Homesick Texan was right there with three ways to make pinto beans, each building on the recipe before it. Because I always do too much, I of course, opted for the third one that had all the flavors and ingredients, and took the most time.
These beans were not meant to be made for a casual weeknight dinner, but the leftovers definitely will, and have.
I mostly followed the recipe but I decided against buying two different kinds of pork and met in the middle with thick-cut bacon. I also reduced the jalapenos and replaced one with a poblano to keep the spiciness to medium (It probably would have been fine but my way was good for me). I also made an error in recipe-reading so an adequate substitute is provided.
Here’s what I did, based on the borracho beans recipe from Homesick Texan:
- 1 lb. dry pinto beans, soaked overnight
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 lb. thick-cut bacon, divided (I used Beeler’s)
- ¼ c. jalapeno pickle juice
- Salt, to taste
- 1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes, with the juices (I forgot this ingredient so substituted ½ pint cherry tomatoes and 1 c. vegetable broth)
- 2 jalapenos, seeded, stemmed, and roughly chopped
- 1 poblano pepper, seeded, stemmed, and roughly chopped
- 2 chipotles in adobo, chopped
- 1 c. cilantro
- 1 (12 oz.) bottle Modelo Negro or similar dark beer
Chop up all but 4 strips of (uncooked) bacon and add to a Dutch oven on medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and salt, as desired. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Drain the beans and add them to the pot with water to cover by about 2 inches. Bring the pot to a boil.
Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for about an hour. (At about a half-hour, I covered partially as I had added too much water, so check water levels and adjust as necessary.)
Meanwhile, cook remaining 4 pieces of bacon. Add the cooked bacon pieces to a blender with tomatoes (or tomatoes and broth, as it were), jalapenos, poblano, chipotles, and cilantro. Blend until smooth, about 1 minute. Once beans are mostly cooked through, after an hour, add the blended mixture to the pot.
Cook another 20 minutes, covered or uncovered as appropriate to adjust liquid level to your choosing. Add beer about 10 minutes before ready; add jalapeno pickle juices, about 5 minutes before ready, and simmer uncovered.
Let cool slightly and enjoy with more beer, and perhaps some Mexican rice.