Beer-Stewed Pinto Beans (Frijoles Borrachos)
The word “borracho” was a nineteenth-century north-of-the-border term for a drunkard, and so the name of this recipe literally means “drunken pinto beans.” Simmering the pintos in beer, and embellishing with jalapeño peppers and fresh cilantro gives them a unique flavor. Serve this with tortilla or rice specialties that don’t themselves contain beans. Delicious as a side dish with Southwestern flavored dishes like Baked Rice with Cheese and Green Chiles or Tofu Rancheros. Or, you can use this as a tasty filling for soft tacos or wrap them into tortillas for simple burritos. Photos by Evan Atlas.
Serves: 6 or more
- 1 cup chopped ripe tomatoes or lightly drained canned diced tomatoes
- Two 15- to 16-ounce cans pinto or pink beans, drained and rinsed,
or 3 to 3 1/2 cups cooked pinto or pink beans (from about 1 2/3 cups raw)
- 1/2 cup beer
- 2 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
- 1 to 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced, or one 4-ounce can mild green chilies
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Combine all the ingredients except the cilantro, salt, and pepper in a wide skillet and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer gently over low heat for 10 minutes.
Mash enough of the beans to thicken the base (use a potato masher or a large fork) so that the mixture isn’t soupy.
Stir in the cilantro and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes longer over very low heat, uncovered. If there’s still too much liquid in the skillet, continue to cook until the bean mixture thickens, then serve.