Homemade Charro Beans
This was the first time I’ve ever cooked bacon.
I’ve eaten my fair share of bacon…need I mention (again) that my dad makes the best breakfast tacos EVER. He does. Soft, creamy eggs topped with a slice of crispy bacon and cheddar cheese all rolled inside a whole wheat tortilla crisped in butter. Yes. It is the food vacations (and dreams) are made of.
I can go about a week without Mexican food. After that I start craving it. But it’s more than a craving because Mexican food is a part of me. It is!!! Growing up my family ate out at least once a week and Mexican food was the food of choice 97% of the time. Over 18 years, that adds up to a whole lotta Mexican food. Ugh can’t we all just go back to childhood for a quick sec?
I still love eating Mexican food out, but I’ve started making more Mexican-ish dishes at home. I love eating out. I really do. I love the experience of it. I’ve mentioned it before, but I worked in a restaurant kitchen one summer and I was so happy when I quit because working in a kitchen was ruining the magic of eating out. So instead of working part-time in a kitchen, I’m here, talking to you about food. Much better.
But yeah, I’ve been making my own Mexican-ish foods at home like black bean enchiladas and this quesadilla thing. My best friend used to kid me about how I would always order chicken quesadillas at mexican food restaurants. She would say, “that’s like the easiest thing in the world to make yourself.” Now I see the point. You should order things that aren’t easy to make at home. Like bone marrow. Okay, maybe not.
So whenever you eat Mexican food, at least in Houston, your waiter asks if you want charro or refried beans? I’ve always been a charro bean person. My mom always went the charro route and moms are good at knowing what things are good (ya know?), so I ordered charro too. All my life.
I had been wanting to make my own charro beans for a while and this week I finally went for it. Andrew got home as the bacon was cooking and said the house, “smelled like love.” Now we have a ton of charro beans that we’ve been topping with extra sharp cheddar and scooping up with chips and calling the whole thing dinner. Can’t complain.
- 1 1/2 lbs dried pinto beans, sorted & soaked overnight in water
- 3/4 lb bacon, chopped
- 16 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 jalapenos, seeded & finely diced
- 7 cups water
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- Drain and rinse soaked pinto beans. Set aside.
- Add bacon to a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium-low heat. Cook bacon, stirring frequently, until it starts to get crispy, about 10 minutes. Stir in jalapeno and garlic cloves, cook for 2 minutes. Stir in oregano and thyme. Add in pinto beans, chicken broth, water and bay leaves. Bring beans to a boil. Reduce to a simmer for 1.5-2 hours, or until beans are soft. Pick out bay leaves and mash any garlic cloves you see (all of my garlic cloves just 'melted' into the soup so I didn't have to mash them). Serve warm garnished with cilantro, extra sharp cheese and tortilla chips. Keep leftovers in the fridge for up to a week or freeze for easy dinners.
how did I not put guac on this?!!