Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Naughty little Pintos, getting Tipsy on Tequila!

I am so excited to share this recipe for "Drunken Pintos with Cilantro and Bacon (Frijoles Borrachos)!" These soupy beans, similar to frijoles charros (aka., cowboy beans), are perfect in a small bowl alongside tacos, and other Mexican fare. Although, they are equally welcome at any barbecue! It's amazing how just a little tequila transforms this recipe from traditional to transcendent! 

Drunken Pintos with Cilantro and Bacon (Frijoles Borrachos)

Makes 4 cups, serving 4 to 6 as a side dish


8 ounces (about 1 1/4 cups) dry pinto beans 
1/2 cup (about 2 ounces) cubed pork shoulder (or extra chopped bacon, if you wish)
4 thick slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 small white onion, diced into 1/4-inch pieces
Hot fresh green chile to taste (roughly 2 serranos or 1 jalapeno), stemmed, seeded, and sliced
Salt, about 3/4 teaspoon
1 1/2 tablespoons tequila (plus a little more if you like)
1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro


The beans:
Rinse the beans thoroughly and scoop into a medium-size (4-quart) pot with a lid. Add 5 cups water, remove any beans that float and discard. Add the pork shoulder (or extra bacon) and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and very gently simmer, partially covered, until the beans are thoroughly tender, about 2 hours. You'll need to gently stir the beans regularly and add water as necessary to keep the liquid a generous 1/2-inch above the level of the beans.

The flavorings
In a medium-size skillet, fry the bacon (that is the remaining bacon if you used some for the beans), stirring regularly, until crisp, about 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the bacon, leaving behind as much of the drippings as possible. Pour off all but about 2 tablespoons of the drippings and return the pan to medium heat. Add the onion and chiles and fry until deep golden brown, about 10 minutes. Scrape the onion mixture into the beans, then taste and season it all with salt. Continue simmering, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 30 minutes to blend the flavors.

Finishing the dish
If the beans seem quite soupy, boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the consistency of a nice, brothy bean soup. Just before serving, stir in the tequila and cilantro, then serve in warm bowls topped with the crumbled bacon.

Recipe adapted from Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen.
(Fabulous Cookbook!)

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