Frijoles Charros (Mexican Pinto Beans)
This is the authentic way of doing Mexican frijoles charros and the easiest one. This is a beans soup with tons of personality.
In fact, the day I made this big pot of frijoles charros I only ate them for my lunch… and my dinner. They are spicy and full of meaty flavor. I just love it!.
The base of the flavor is the crispy bacon and chorizo that we need to cook at the beginning of the process. They will release the fragrant oil that will enrich the flavor of the soup. This is the meaty factor. If you feel like you want a heavier dish you can add chicharrones too.
The next step is the tomato. You must choose two ripe tomatoes. It is important that the tomatoes are the ripest that you can find because they will release more juice and will give a boost to the soup. To enhance even more the tomato flavor I like to add 1 tbsp of tomato paste.
Now let’s talk about my favorite part of this soup: The spicy factor! For this recipe, I highly recommend using jalapeños. It’s the most authentic Mexican flavor that you can add. If you have a hard time finding fresh jalapeños — Like me here in Portugal — you can buy canned jalapeño and cut it into teeny tiny pieces a tbsp of canned jalapeños. This will work just fine.
You can make this recipe using canned pinto beans — this is what I do just because it saves me tons of time and it doesn’t change the taste at all — or you can cook them. If you want to cook them you need to cover them with water and boil them for about 2 hours in a regular stock pot or for 30 minutes in a pressure cooker.
If you cook them you will need about 200 gr of uncooked pinto beans to get 300 gr of cooked beans. Remember that they will almost double in size because of all the water they absorb.
To finish this soup I add some coriander and then I turn off the stove. This is a little trick of latin soups. We don’t overcook the coriander. We add it at the end so the heat can release the flavor but not destroy the leaves.
I hope you like this recipe with a big piece of avocado and some drops of lime juice!
- 300 gr cooked pinto beans with their water (you can use canned as I do)
- 100 gr bacon cut into small pieces
- 100 gr chorizo cut into small pieces
- 1 medium onion
- 2 to matoes
- 1 jalapeño (you can use 1 tbsp canned jalapeños)
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
- Salt and Pepper
- Lime juice (optional)
In a big stock pot toss the cut chorizo and bacon. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes until they release a lot of grease and become a little crunchy.
Pour the olive oil and toss the onion and the tomatoes --- cut into small cubes. Add the tomato paste and cook for a couple minutes until the tomatoes start to release its juices.
Toss the jalapeños and the garlic, stir for a couple of minutes and pour the pinto beans with the water they cooked into. The soup must have enough water to cover the beans and all the other chunky ingredients. You can add more water if needed. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the coriander cut into tiny pieces and take the soup out of the stove. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste and serve. If you like you can add lime juice to taste.