• Mexican Charra Beans

    3 votes
    Mexican Charra Beans
    Prep: 15 hours Cook: 2 hours Servings: 8
    by Marlin Rinehart
    25 recipes
    Very flavorful beans, slightly soupy. Frequently served as a side dish with a Mexican meal in many restaurants along the border.


    • 2 cups dried pinto beans
    • 5 cups water
    • 3 cups beef bouillon or stock (can use 3 beef bouillon cubes or granules dissolved in hot water)
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 4 to 6 slices bacon, chopped or cut in small pieces across the strips
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
    • 2 fresh jalapeño chilies*, sliced into thin strips (discard seeds and ribs before slicing)
    • 1 cup canned tomatoes, crushed
    • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
    • 3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro leaves (optional)


    1. *CAUTION: When cutting up jalapeño chilies, do not handle them with bare hands. Wear kitchen gloves or put your hand in a plastic bag when holding them. The juice in the chili can blister your skin if it makes skin contact.
    2. Clean the dried beans, wash and drain them. Place in a large heavy saucepan. Add the water, bouillon and bay leaves. Simmer uncovered over low heat.
    3. After 1 hour, stir the beans and check the water level. If the water doesn’t cover the beans by an inch, add enough hot water to do so. Check water level again in 30 minutes, and add more hot water to maintain the 1-inch above beans level.
    4. In a small skillet cook the bacon until brown. Remove the bacon and reserve, leaving the drippings in the skillet. Add the onion, garlic and jalapeños to the drippings and cook until tender. Stir in canned tomatoes and cook about 5 minutes.
    5. Add the cooked vegetables to the beans and continue cooking. Check beans every 15 minutes, keeping water level just above the beans. When beans are fully cooked, there should be extra liquid, but the beans should not be watery. If too watery, take about ½ to 1 cup of beans, mash them, and add them back to the pot of beans, bringing them to a boil to thicken the bean liquid somewhat. Stir in the cilantro and reserved bacon just before the beans are done. Delicious!

    Similar Recipes

    Leave a review or comment