Since I’ve already covered other aspects of Tex Mex cooking, I thought I’d share another one of my favorites today: Charro Beans. This is a great “set-and-forget” recipe that will leave your house smelling fantastic for about a day. Yes, they take a long time to cook (truly SLOW cooking) but I promise it is so worth it! They are a wonderful mix of Tex-Mex flavors with just the right amount of heat. Pro-tip: Leftovers make amazing refried beans too.
My mom makes these for every holiday and get together, so a few years ago I asked her for the recipe. It’s so good I want to have it more often than every few months, ya know? Anyway, her version has “1 bag of beans, 1 package pork, 3-4 garlic…” Thanks mom, I can do a whole lot with that. So I’ve tweaked it a bit and included precise measurements for you guys and turned out a recipe that’s even better than hers. Don’t tell her I said that.
If you have the option, get fresh pinto beans either locally or from the produce section of your favorite store. I swear it is a thousand times better than the stuff on the shelf and it’s less likely to have rocks and other unwelcome friends inside. After that, the most difficult thing is waiting for these bad boys to finish. Because truly great charro beans take forever to cook, definitely start these a day or two ahead of time. I found that mine were perfect right between 24-30 hours of cooking. Like I said, it was excruciating waiting for these.
So if you can manage to survive the long cook time, give this a shot. It is a relatively cheap recipe that you can literally toss in the pot. (I hate the word “dump,” especially in association with food. Ugh)
Until next time. X
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Items used in this recipe:
- 32 oz dry pinto beans
- 4–5 slices thick cut bacon, chopped roughly
- 1 large jalapeno, whole
- 1 medium onion, chopped roughly
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced thin
- 5 TB taco seasoning
- salt to taste
- cilantro, about 10-15 sprigs roughly chopped
- Sift through the beans, removing rocks or broken beans.
- Add them to the slow cooker and fill with water. Don’t worry about measuring the water, just add enough to cover the beans by about 2 inches.
- Cook on low for 2 hours, then drain the beans and return to the slow cooker with the bacon, jalapeno, garlic, onion and taco seasoning. Add 7 cups of water and stir gently.
- Cook on low for another 24-30 hours, stirring every few hours to prevent browning. You’ll want a soft and flavorful bean. If it is chalky it needs more time.
- 30 minutes before serving, stir in salt to taste (I usually don’t add any) and the cilantro.
- Serve warm and refrigerate any excess. Leftovers can be reheated in a skillet and mashed with a fork to make refried beans.
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