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Why are they called charro beans?
Charro Beans are also known as “Frijoles Charros” or “Cowboy Beans.” They got their name from the Mexican cowboys who ate this dish.
My dad’s family owns a ranch in Durango, Mexico. Horses, cows, pigs… John Wayne filmed several of his movies in Durango.
We make this dish quite a bit on the ranch. I called my dad for the recipe, and here I am, bringing it to you.
This is an authentic Mexican recipe straight from the horse’s mouth… lol. Pun totally intended!
This is also a great dish to make if you have leftover beans. Have the beans cooked and ready to go when you are making Charro Beans.
Yes, you can use canned beans.
What is a Charro?
A vaquero is a cowboy who works with cattle.
A charro is a performer who performs tricks with ropes and wrangles in horses.
A vaquero wears work clothes and usually also a hat. A charro wears ornate clothing with embellishments and a fancy sombrero.
How to Make Charro Beans
- To a large stockpot, add some oil and cook the bacon.
- Remove the cooked bacon and discard any bacon grease. Reserve the bacon. In the same pot, add the chorizo and cook.
- Discard any chorizo grease and return the bacon to the pot. Add the onion and jalapeno. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the diced tomato. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the tomatoes have released the juices.
- Add the garlic and salt.
- Stir to combine.
If you don’t remove the extra grease, your dish will be really greasy. No one likes that! Don’t worry. Your Frijoles Charros will still be just as flavorful.
Word to the Wise: Be sure to stir occasionally. You don’t want anything to burn. The stew should be chunky.
- If you don’t want it to be spicy, omit the jalapeno.
- If you like it spicier, add 2 diced jalapenos.
Some people will add diced roasted poblano peppers for extra heat. This is totally up to you.
- Add the cooked beans and the 2 cups of bean broth.
- Stir to combine. Cook for 10 minutes.
NOTE: Instead of the bean broth, you can use 2 cups water + ½ cube beef bouillon. Or, you can use 2 cups beef broth.
If you want it more soup-y, add 2 cups of beef broth in addition to the bean broth.
Although this is not traditional, you can also add vegetables like broccoli, green beans, peas, and carrots.
- Add the sliced hot dogs.
- Stir to combine. Cook for 5 minutes.
“Wiennies” as we refer to them in Spanish, or hot dogs, are a must, according to my dad.
Mexico is a poor country, and depending on what was available, they would add it to the pot.
Hot dogs, though, because they can be stored for a long time and can almost always be found, they are always in Frjioles Charros.
Totally optional, but also yummy, crushed chicharrones (or pork crackling).
Please note: Some people will also add ham.
How Long Will Frijoles Charros Last?
- Frijoles Charros will last up to 5 days in the fridge.
- Frijoles Charros will last up to 6 months in the freezer.
What to serve with Frijoles Charros?
- Sliced Jalapeños
- Pickled Jalapeños
- Crushed Dried Chile de Arbol
- Slices of Serrano Peppers
- Corn Tortillas
- Queso Fresco
A bowl of Charro Beans makes the perfect cold weather food. This rustic stew is chunky and delicious with each spoonful. Hope you enjoy!
Charro Beans (Frijoles Charros)
- Heat oil in a large stock pot.
- Add the bacon. Cook until crispy.
- Remove the cooked bacon from the pot. Set aside.
- Drain the excess fat. Do not wash the pot.
- In the same pot, cook the chorizo.
- Drain any excess fat from the chorizo.
- Return the bacon to the pot.
- Add onion and jalapeno. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the diced tomato. Stir to combine.
- Cook for 5 minutes, or until the tomatoes have released their juices.
- Add the garlic, salt, cooked beans, and the bean broth.
- Stir to combine. Put a lid on the pot.
- Cook for 10 minutes.
- Add the hot dogs. Stir to combine.
- Cover and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- Serve with tortillas and enjoy!
- For a spicier Frijoles Charros, use 2 jalapenos.
- For a less spicy dish, omit the jalapeno.