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What are Frijoles Charros?
Frijoles Charros are also called Charro Beans, Mexican Cowboy Beans, Frijoles a la Charra. They got their name from the Mexican cowboys who ate this dish.
My dad’s family owns a ranch in Durango in Northern Mexico. Horses, cows, pigs… John Wayne filmed several of his movies nearby our family land.
We make this dish quite a bit on the ranch. I called my dad for the entire recipe, and here I am, bringing it to you.
It’s one of the most authentic Mexican recipes from my family to yours.
Don’t confuse these with borracho beans (frijoles borrachos) as those are made with beer.
You will need cooked Frijoles de la Olla, or cooked pinto beans (the kind you use to make refried beans).
This recipe is a great way to use leftover Mexican pinto beans. Have the beans cooked and ready to go when you are making this Mexican meal.
Also try making them in Instant Pot Pinto Beans. They are ready in minutes, and there’s no soaking involved! You only need to add a few cups of water to my favorite fast IP pressure cooker.
Yes, you can use canned beans, but tell my mother I said that. lol.
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.
- To a large pot, heat oil and sauté bacon on medium heat.
- Remove the cooked bacon and discard any bacon grease. Reserve the bacon. In the same pot, add the ground spicy chorizo and cook.
- Discard any chorizo grease and return the bacon to the pot. Add the onion and jalapeño peppers. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the diced tomato. Cook for 5 minutes at medium-high heat, or until the tomatoes have released the juices.
- Add the garlic and salt.
- Stir with a large spoon to combine.
Be sure to stir occasionally. You don’t want anything to burn. The stew should be chunky.
How to Adjust the Heat:
- 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. Lower heat and cook for 10 minutes.
Swap out for black beans instead. It’s whatever you have in your kitchen.
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.
- Add the sliced hot dogs.
- Stir to combine. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Top with some chopped cilantro.
- Serve with warm tortillas and enjoy!
“Wiennies” as we refer to them in Spanish, or hot dogs, are a must, according to my dad. Beef franks are the best, but any kind you have is fine too.
Here, we’re making it on the stove top, but you can very well make it in the slow cooker or instant pot.
Crushed chicharrones (or pork rinds crackling) makes a great addition. I love to garnish mine with sliced jalapeños. The spicier, the better.
Some people will also add ham to their ranchero beans. Although this is not traditional, you can also add vegetables like broccoli, green beans, peas, and carrots.
Place any leftovers in an airtight container for up 5 days in the fridge. If storing in the freezer, place in a sealable freezer bag and remove as much air as possible. Store in the freezer for up to 6 months.
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 Frijoles Charros makes the perfect cold-weather food or serve this at a special occasion. It’s the perfect side dish to carne asada and more traditional Mexican recipes. This rustic stew is chunky and delicious with each spoonful. Buen provecho!
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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.