Recipe: Borracho Beans!

Hello borracho beans. It’s nice to meet you.

I found this recipe about a week ago on the Savvy Vegetarian when I was on a quest for vegetarian recipes. And it immediately made me wonder if I’d actually ever eaten pinto beans before. (I’m not sure I have)

But anyway, I decided to try it Sunday night. It was a recipe I’m pretty sure my mom never made growing up and I’ve been trying to branch out from what she made me growing up. (Though, she’s a pretty awesome cook and I love going home to eat.)

Step 1 in cooking pinto beans: Remember that you have to soak them for a few hours before actually cooking them. I sort of forgot that and didn’t put them on to soak until about 5:30 p.m. Luckily, there is a quick soak option that takes two hours instead of six to eight hours.

Step 2 in cooking a pinto bean recipe: Read the whole recipe so you realize that even after the two hour soaking, the recipe still takes another hour to cook.

This resulted in dinner not being served until 8:30 p.m. Sunday and the beans maybe not being cooked as thoroughly as they needed to be. Oops. 🙂

I actually also sort of adapted the recipe to suit my own needs. I didn’t have molasses or liquid smoke in my pantry, so I had to do without. If you want the whole version, head over to Savvy Vegetarian.

And if not, here’s my version.


  • 2 1/2 – 3 cups cooked pinto beans  (if you soak 1 cup of uncooked beans, it comes out to about 2 1/2)
  • 1 cup Mexican beer (Gray picked up Dos Equis Amber for the occasion)
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1 chicken bullion cube
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp gr. coriander
  • 1 tsp gr. cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • Salt & fresh ground pepper to taste


In a large saucepan, combine the beans, beer, tomatoes, bouillon cube and bay leaf.  Heat on medium.

Then, in a separate frying pan, coat pan with oil and saute garlic, onion and pepper until tender. Stir in spices.

Add contents of the frying pan to the beans. Cover and cook for an hour on medium, stirring occasionally. The beans will absorb the liquid and become tender. In my case, we were so hungry, that we didn’t totally wait for that to happen. If you reach the hour point and the liquid is absorbed, but the beans are still a little tough, add some water.

I suggest enjoying the beans with a side salad and the same beer you used to cook the beans.


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