Borracho Beans

I’ve been pretty darn proud of my beans for quite some time….

Beans were a necessity when I was a young wife. They were a way to stretch my grocery budget and fill tummies at the same time. Beans were either a side dish or an entrée, depending on the night.

Most of us have had “Beans and Rice” moments in our lives….money is tight and you still have to make ends meet. Beans can come to the rescue, as long as they are GREAT beans!

While beans might not be a necessity in my life any longer, they are still one of my most raved about dishes. How funny is that??  Dirt cheap doesn’t have to taste like dirt cheap.

I’m one of those gals that firmly believe LOVE flavors food. When I was scraping together pennies to put food on the table, I was still one of the happiest wives around. I loved being a wife and mother, and stirred all that joy into the dishes I created on a shoestring budget.

Love and happiness are free folks…it doesn’t matter if you’re serving beans or filet mignon!

Make it with love and love what ya make! {I think I’ll trademark that}

So how do you make beans somethin’ special?

You make borracho beans!

Borracho means drunk…so in essence….what we have here are DRUNK BEANS! The alcohol cooks out so these are totally kid friendly.

This recipe will serve about 15 for a side dish, or 8-10 as a main dish.

Main dish beans??? Yes…. For a main dish, you can serve the beans with tortillas or cornbread, and garnish with whatever condiments sound good to you. Beans and tortillas are the way to my husband’s heart.


2 pounds dried pinto beans

1 pound bacon, chopped into large chunks


12 ounces beer (feel free to experiment with flavors of beer)

2 teaspoons kosher salt

3 roma tomatoes, pulp removed and diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

1/2 yellow onion, diced

1 poblano pepper, seeds removed and diced

1 teaspoon granulated garlic

1 teaspoon cumin

Garnish: cilantro, sour cream, salsa, cheese (optional)


Open the bags of beans and sort through them for any small pebbles or “bad” beans and remove them.

Place the beans in a large pot and add enough water to cover the beans by a few inches.

IMG_3509-1Bring the water to a boil over medium heat. Once the water is boiling, cover the pot and remove from the heat.

Allow the beans to set, covered, for one hour.

Drain the beans and return to the pot. You will notice the beans have swelled as they absorbed some of the water.

IMG_3511-1Cover the beans with clean water, making sure the water covers the beans by a couple of inches.

Add the chopped bacon and a large pinch of salt and pepper.

(I already had bacon chopped from another use…I typically have much larger pieces of bacon because you will be removing it later. Larger chunks make removing easier)

IMG_3515-1Pour the beer into the pot and stir.

IMG_3517-1Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat and leave the pot uncovered.

Stir occasionally and watch the water level. The beans will need to cook somewhere in between 1 3/4 – 2 hours. If your liquid is reducing too quickly, turn your heat down and add a small amount of water. Start letting the liquid cook down below the beans during the last half hour. Your beans should look similar to this at the beginning of the last 30 minutes.

IMG_3519-1Check your beans to make sure they are softened. You want them to hold their shape, yet immediately burst and be creamy when you bite into them. If your beans are done and there is still a little too much liquid, you can remove the excess with a ladle.

Now it’s time to pick out the bacon. Grab some tongs and pull the pieces of bacon out and discard. They’ve done their job!

Add in the diced tomatoes, peppers, and onion. Sprinkle in the garlic, cumin, and kosher salte  and give everything a good but gentle stir. No mashing the beans!

IMG_3523-1Grab some warm tortillas and your garnish and serve this pot of wonderment up……

IMG_3537-1As corny as this sounds…. I have NEVER shared this recipe with ANYONE! It’s like sending a child off to school {in a weird way}!

You hope that child fares well, hope they are well received and make friends.

I hope my beans make friends…..

Signing Off,

Modern Mrs. Cleaver

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15 Responses to Borracho Beans

  1. terribetz

    Great recipe! I’ve never tried it! Love finding new pinto recipes! Thanks for sharing! You rock! :)

  2. Carleen

    These sound delicious! Thanx :D

  3. Mona Davis

    I am making these right this very minute! Yum!

  4. making a baked bean recipe and saw you recipe.. Is there no sweetness in the mix

  5. Thanks for this.. love the garnish on the beans.. i had added my molasses, maple syrup, in Guinness beer before I read your comment! next time as I am most curious as to the flavor

  6. Jeannean

    On the menu for my mexican dinner tomorrow!! But no bacon as 2 vegatarians will be there. do you think a bud lite with lime would work?

    • modernmrscleaver

      HAH when I first read that I was thinking you meant “Would a bud lite with lime work as a substitute for the bacon” :) I was confused for a moment…then laughed at myself.
      To answer your REAL question…I have used many varieties of beers over the many many years of my bean making and haven’t found one that DIDN’T work. They all alter the flavors, and that makes it fun to alternate and experiment. I say give the bud light a try!

  7. Cabrini

    These were fabulous! Made them for dinner last night. Everyone went back for seconds! Going to use some leftovers for chicken enchiladas tonight and bean soup for tomorrow! Thanks so much for sharing!

  8. Grant

    These were excellent!! Do you know what the nutritional info is on this recipe?

    • modernmrscleaver

      I’m so glad you enjoyed them! I really haven’t kept track of the nutritional info…I’ll be investigating that the next time I make them. Thanks for your comment :)

  9. darilynncaston

    Just had my SECOND plate of beans!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe! Put sour cream and cilantro on top…perfection! Thank you for trusting us with your recipe!

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