Sep 26

Homemade Charro Beans

This was the first time I’ve ever cooked bacon.

Charro Beans
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? 

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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.

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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. 

Charro Beans-6
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.

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Charro Beans
  1. 1 1/2 lbs dried pinto beans, sorted & soaked overnight in water
  2. 3/4 lb bacon, chopped
  3. 16 cloves garlic, peeled
  4. 1 jalapenos, seeded & finely diced
  5. 7 cups water
  6. 4 cups chicken broth
  7. 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  8. 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  9. 2 bay leaves
  1. Drain and rinse soaked pinto beans. Set aside.
  2. 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.
Makes at least 6 cups of charro beans
Adapted from Food & Wine's Charro Beans
Charro Beans-8
how did I not put guac on this?!!


11 comments on “Homemade Charro Beans”

  1. yes! as a houstonite myself, this recipes speaks to my soul. i make these a lot too… i’ll just plan my next batch of beans instead of stew in jealousy of the amazing tex-mex i’m missing. (please go eat some fajitas for me.)

  2. I am a Mexican food lover too, especially growing up and living in San Diego, so never a week passes that my family and I don’t go out for Mexican food, or make it at home. I discovered Charro Beans a couple of years ago on Liv Life’s blog, and now they have become a regular dish in our house. I will definitely be trying your recipe out too-so delicious!

    • Growing up living in San Diego sounds like a dream to me! My parents have a time share in Laguna Beach we go to once a year. I LOVE California.

  3. Thank you Kylie for the nice recipe.

  4. I’m totally team charro bean too! Love this recipe!

  5. Okay, first of all….how have you never cooked bacon before!? :-)

    Secondly, is this spicy with the jalapeño or does it just add a nice overall heat in the background?

    It looks delicious I must say!

  6. Love charro beans!! I grew up in south Texas, and any time we would go to my grandparent’s house there was always a pot of her famous beans to eat! She also used cumin in hers which I think gives it that unique flavor. I live in London now so I’m trying to master my own Mexican food here!! I had to get some of my bridesmaids from san antonio to bring me some Taco Cabana bean and cheese tacos when we met up for the wedding, haha!

    Thanks for sharing :)

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  8. Making these (ish) now to try to curb my mexican food cravings for a few more weeks – I live in Italy, but am from California and you just can’t find the mexican food delicious-ness in Italy like you do in Cali! Thanks for the help!

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