Charro Beans ala Pati Jinich

Frijoles charros or "cowboy beans"

Here's a recipe from my absolute favorite chef, Pati Jinich. Her cooking is magical and her interactions with others are beautiful to watch. I've seen her travel to some of my favorite places in Baja Calfornia and Tucson, Arizona, and I can't help but fall in love every time I see her :-) Seriously, her show is incredible. Check it out on.

Here's Pati's Cowboy Charro Beans recipe; I've added some of my own touches as well. Oh, and here's how to cook the beans from scratch.


  • 6 oz sliced uncooked bacon, chopped
  • 8 oz fresh uncooked Mexican chorizo, casings removed, chopped
  • 1/2 cup white onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper finely chopped, more or less to taste, seeded if desired
  • 1/2 lb roma tomatoes, about 2 to 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tsp kosher or sea salt, plus more as needed
  • 5 cups cooked pinto beans and their cooking liquid, or substitute with black or Peruvian beans - I'm actually going to try the recipe with tepary beans from Tucson
  • Another recipe calls for hot dogs or some other kind of sausage to be added along with the chorizo - I find that to be awesome :-) Also, chipotle chiles in adobo make a nice addition, as do cilantro and avocado added as garnish. (Chipotle chiles in adobo are HOT, only add one and then taste. The adobo sauce is great too, but it's hot too - go lightly.)
  • I like to make a roux out of masa (corn) flour and oil, about a 1/4 cup of each, and add it in at the end
  • I also like to add about a quarter of a can of beer

What To Do With Them

  1. Cook the bacon in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes, until it is lightly browned and starting to crisp. Add the chopped chorizo; cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until it starts to brown and crisp. As it cooks, use a wooden spoon or spatula to break it into smaller pieces.
  2. Add the chopped onion and jalapeño; mix well and cook for 1 or 2 more minutes, letting them soften a bit. Add the tomatoes and mix well; cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring, until the tomatoes soften and appear mushy.
  3. Add the cooked beans and their cooking liquid; mix well and reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until the beans are moist but not soupy. Add a bit more water if needed. Taste, and add more salt to your taste. Serve hot.