Originally uploaded by Jenblossom.

Growing up, one thing my brother and I always looked forward to at family gatherings was my Grandma's "Drunken Beans", or Borrachos. They get their name from the addition of beer, which adds a nice richness and the slightest hint of sweetness to balance the saltiness of the pork and zing of pickled jalapenos. These humble beans are super easy to make, and taste even better the next day - they're a great addition to any summer menu, but are hearty enough to carry you through the winter months, too.


16 oz. dried pinto beans
6 cups water
1 baseball-sized red or Spanish onion, diced
About 1/2 package salt pork, cut into 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch chunks (about 1 to 1.5 cups total)
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 small jar pickled jalapenos
12-14 oz. chopped/diced tomatoes with juice (1 can or 1/2 box POMI)
1 tbsp dried oregano (preferably Mexican oregano)
1 bottle amber or dark beer
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Pick over the beans to remove any stones or dirt, and place them in a large pot, covering them with water. Cover and bring to a boil. Let boil for 2 minutes, then remove from heat and let stand, undrained, for an hour.

In a large, heavy bottomed pot, begin browning salt pork. Add onion and cook until softened and golden. Add garlic cloves and cook until fragrant. Add the beans with their cooking water, the tomatoes, the beer, the oregano, and the juice from the jar of jalapenos (along with as many peppers as you like depending on your preference for spiciness!). Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir well to combine, and cook, covered, over low heat, stirring occasionally, for at least one hour these beans can really go all day, and are even better the next day when the flavors have had a chance to really blend.

Serve in bowls (they should be soupy!) these go great alongside burgers, hot dogs, sausage, or grilled chicken, or make a wonderful meal on their own with warmed fresh tortillas.

Posted by jenblossom on July 06, 2005 | TrackBack
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