5.0 from 3 votes
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Frijoles charros are named after the famous and traditional Mexican cowboy horsemen, called “charros”, it’s such a comforting bean soup.

Frijoles charros can be served as a side dish or even entree, your choice!

Charro beans have special cultural flavors that take you back to the most memorable fiesta moments. Whether you enjoy it on special occasions; or any time of the year, you know this is comfort food at its best. This bean soup is mainly used as a side dish for carne asadas and on holidays, but you can also make it year round. The possibilities are endless when it comes to frijoles charros.

Flavorful and hearty charro beans served in a bowl.

Meaning behind the name “Charro beans” 

Frijoles charros are named after the famous and traditional Mexican cowboy horsemen, called “charros”. These Mexican cowboys typically dress in a very detailed outfit composed of a jacket, close fitting pants and a beautiful sombrero. 

Soaking the beans overnight

Soaking the beans overnight can be a great option because it reduces the cooking time. If previously soaked, it can take about 30 minutes to fully cook. Isn’t it crazy? On the other hand; being able to cook beans whenever you wish, without having to do much prep, is also possible. Add all the necessary components to a large pot and cook on a gentle simmer for about one and a half hours. The second option does take longer but you can do other things around the house while monitoring the beans. Both choices are available according to your needs. 

pinto Beans being cooked for the recipe
Beans being cooked.
Type of beans you can use 
  • Most commonly used: Pinto
  • Other option: Peruano beans 
  • Note: Time it takes to cook can vary depending on the beans you are using. This recipes is based on pinto beans. 
Why I blend a small portion of the beans

If you were wondering what blending a small portion of the beans actually does, let me break it down for you. This process actually enhances the bean soup flavor and adds a kiss of creaminess that is great on so many levels. If you haven’t tried this step, I suggest you do because it makes such an impact.

Charro beans being cooked.
Blend some of the beans for creamier frijoles charros
Remove excess fat 

The bacon, beef franks, ham and chorizo all release fat. The fat released does add flavor, but as you cook the meats, feel free to remove excess fat. Leave behind just enough to cover the bottom of the pot. It is important to have enough of it to cook every item but just use what’s necessary. All the excess amount will rise to the surface making the charros beans really greasy. Watch out for the ham because it can really soak up the fat if not removed prior to adding, just a tip. 

Other items you can add: 
  • Chicharron (fried pork belly or fried pork rinds)
  • Sausage instead of the beef franks 
  • Chiles en vinagre (pickled jalapeños)
Vegetable prep
Vegetable prep. Link: White plates & Pinch bowls
Add salt to taste

The meats have seasoning already, specially the chorizo. This is why I season at the end with salt to taste if necessary. 

Accompany with
  1. Carne Asada
  2. Authentic Guacamole
  3. Mexican Rice
  4. Mexican Salsa
  5. Horchata
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Frijoles Charros Recipe

Recipe by Villa Cocina
5.0 from 3 votes
Course: Sides, EntreeCuisine: MexicanDifficulty: Easy
Servings

10

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

1

hour 

50

minutes
Total time

2

hours 

Charro beans has special cultural flavors that takes you back to the most memorable fiesta moments. Whether you enjoy it on special occasions; or any time of the year, you know this is comfort food at its best.

Ingredients

  • Cook the beans 
  • 1 lb pinto beans, rinsed

  • 1/2 medium white onion

  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled 

  • 12 cups of water 

  • 2 tsp of kosher salt 

  • Bean paste 
  • 1 cup from the beans we cooked

  • 1 cup of the bean broth 

  • 1/2 cup water

  • Meats  (prep) 
  • 6 oz ham, diced 

  • 5 bacon strips, sliced into strips 

  • 4 beef franks, round 

  • 12 oz pork or beef chorizo, remove from casing & break apart.

  • Vegetables (prep) 
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 10 oz roma tomatoes, diced 

  • 1/2 medium white onion, diced  

  • 1 serrano or jalapeño pepper, diced 

  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped  

Directions

  • Cook the beans: Place the rinsed beans, onion, garlic, water and salt in a large pot. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Once boiling, lower to medium low heat and let it reach a simmer. Cover and cook until tender, about 1.5 hrs. Check periodically to make sure there is enough water.  
  • When the beans are ready, remove the pot from the heat. Transfer 1 cup of the cooked beans with 1 cup of the broth to a blender and process until smooth. Set to the side until needed. 

    Cook the “charro beans” 
  • Meats: Place a large pot over medium heat and brown the bacon. Feel free to remove excess fat at any point if needed. Transfer the bacon to a heat proof plate when ready. 
  • Leave enough fat to thinly coat the bottom of the pot and brown the franks. When almost browned add in the ham and cook for about a minute. Transfer the franks and ham with the browned bacon. 
  • Add the chorizo to the same pot and break it apart.
  • Vegetables: when the chorizo has fully cooked and browned, stir in the onion. When the onion has slightly softened, mix in the garlic and serrano pepper. After about a minute, stir in the tomatoes and let them cook until the juices release (tender). 
  • When the tomatoes look fully cooked, dump all the meat back into the pot and mix to combine. 
  • Remove the onion and garlic from the cooked beans. Add the beans, broth and bean paste into the pot with the meats. Get the last bit of paste from the blender using water and pour into the pot as well. 
  • Stir and let it simmer. Then add the cilantro, stir and close the pot. Allow it to simmer for about 10 minutes. Lastly, taste and add salt if needed. 
  • Serve hot/warm as a side or main dish.

Recipe Video

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