Frijoles Borrachos or “Drunken Beans” are a standard restaurant offering in South Texas. Adding beer to the pot of beans is what makes them “drunken” but I have also heard of people adding tequila or vodka for the same concept. Not sure if I would pour my good tequila into a pot of beans (I would rather pour it into my glass.) but to each his own.
The tricky part about Frijoles Borrachos is that you need to pay attention to the storage time. Classic Texas Pinto Beans can last up to a week in the refrigerator, but Frijoles Borrachos should be consumed as quickly as possible. The yeast that is in the beer can make the warm carb-loaded beans ferment quickly. Serve your Frijoles Borrachos at a party or divide the batch into smaller portions for later use.
As always, make sure your beans are completely cooled before you store them. Cooked beans can retain small pockets of warmth. Oddly enough, the cooler outer layer of beans on the surface can insulate the warmer beans in the center of the pot. This provides the perfect environment for bacterial growth.
Mind you, I have never experienced this in my home cooking environment. But in the brief time that I owned a restaurant, bacterial growth in warm beans was concern with the commercial sized batches that we made daily. You can allow the beans to cool on the countertop for about 2 hours and then transfer them to another container. This should be sufficient to cool most batches of cooked beans.
Personalize your Bean Recipe
Frijoles Borrachos are excellent when converted into refried beans and they are delicious when served along with enchiladas and tacos. Adding meat flavoring such as bacon or pork trotters is optional, but you can experiment with adding chile serrano or chopped jalapeños. We top ours with plenty of queso fresco and a little cilantro when we are serving them at a party.
This is one of our standard family recipes! Enjoy!Print
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 3 hours
- Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
- Category: sides
- Method: boiling
- Cuisine: Mexican
1 lb. dried pinto or black beans (500g)
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
1 tomato, cored and chopped
2–3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 cup chopped cilantro (80g)
2–3 strips bacon, chopped (optional)
2 pig trotters (optional)
12 oz beer, (354ml) preferably full bodied (not lite beer)
Salt to taste (start with 1 tbsp./12gr)
The beans need to be inspected and picked over to check for small bits of stones or dirt before cooking. Afterwards, place the sorted beans in a colander, and rinse thoroughly.
Place the beans, onions, tomato, garlic, salt and cilantro in a 4 qt. (4lt.) stock pot or saucepan and cover with approximately 3 qt. (3lt.) Add the optional bacon and pigs trotters if desired. Place the pot on the stove and bring to a boil over high heat. Once the beans boil for approximately 30 minutes, lower the heat to a simmer, add the beer and cover. Season with salt to taste. You can leave the cover of the cooking pot slightly tilted to allow the steam and pressure to escape. After you add the beer, simmer the beans for 2½-3 hours more.
Check the water level and stir the beans every 15-20 minutes, adding water 2 cups at a time if the water level seems low.
After boiling for 2 hours, test the beans by making sure they are tender and soft by tasting one. Continue to cook for 30 more minutes if the beans taste undercooked or have a chalky texture. Adjust the salt if needed. Once the beans are completely cooked, turn off the burner and allow the beans to cool for 15 minutes before serving.