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crispy bacon pieces garnish bowl of borracho beans
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5 from 1 vote

Borracho Beans

Borracho beans (frijoles borrachos) are spicy pintos and bacon simmered in beer. Make this Mexican recipe for a delicious side dish of drunken beans!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time3 hrs
Total Time3 hrs 10 mins
Course: side dishes
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: borracho beans, frijoles borrachos, Mexican bean recipes
Servings: 6
Calories: 357kcal


  • 1 lb dried pinto beans (See Note 1)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 slices bacon cut into 1" pieces
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 1 jalapeño diced (or Serrano for spicier)
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes don't drain
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp Mexican oregano
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 12 oz dark beer XX or Negra Modelo
  • 1/4 cup cilantro chopped


  • (See note 1 regarding option to soak beans)
    Pick through and discard any debris from dried beans. Rinse the beans under cool water. Transfer the beans to a large pot or Dutch oven and cover with 8 cups of water.
  • Bring beans to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cover. Cook for 1 1/2 hours. Add salt and cook another 30 minutes, uncovered. Drain the cooked beans, transfer to a large bowl, and set aside.
  • Add the bacon to the large pot or Dutch oven and render until crisp and brown. Remove bacon with slotted spoon and set aside, leaving bacon fat in the pot.
  • Add the onion, jalapeno, garlic, tomatoes, and spices to bacon fat. Saute in the reserved bacon fat for 10 minutes. Add the cooked beans, half of the cooked bacon and dark beer, stirring to mix. Cook on low heat for 15 minutes (See Note 2). Season to taste.
  • Before serving, stir in chopped cilantro and top each bowl of beans with remaining cooked bacon.



  1. Optionally, soak the pinto beans 8 hours before making this recipe. Using a recipe from Diana Kennedy I cooked the dried beans directly. It makes no difference texture wise, and in my taste test, nobody could tell the difference.  What it does do: Soaking beans before cooking helps to remove some of those indigestible sugars that may cause flatulence.
  2. For thicker beans, use a potato masher and mash the beans several times and stir.
  3. This is also FANTASTIC with the addition of cubed rotisserie chicken.


Calories: 357kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 186mg | Potassium: 1272mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 259IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 125mg | Iron: 5mg