Mexican Charro Beans (Frijoles Charros)

(Last Updated On: September 27, 2019)

What are Charro Beans?

Charro beans (also called Ranchero Beans or simply Mexican Bean Soup) are a simple dish of slow cooked Pinto beans flavored with bacon and chiles. A charro is a traditional horseman from Mexico, originally from the Jalisco region of the state of Mexico.

The Spanish terms vaquero (cowboy) and ranchero (rancher) reference similar horsemen, but all three actually differ in history, clothing, tradition and social status. It appears, though, that they don’t differ in much in their cooking of beans out in the open. This is why charro beans are also referred to as ranchero beans, or Mexican cowboy beans.

We first discovered frijoles charros at El Fogon, one of our favorite taco places in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. El Fogon’s is known for it’s incredible tacos al pastor, marinated pork grilled on a vertical skewer and sliced to order into tacos with cilantro and onion.

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Mexican Charro Beans Recipe

With one platter of grilled meat we received a side of charro beans that blew us away. The pinto beans were perfectly cooked, and the smoky bacon flavor was balanced with just enough heat and spiciness. After asking around, we discovered that the soup chef (the “Bean Queen”) at El Fogon’s arrives every morning, and cooks 28 kilos (62 pounds!) of Mexican pinto beans in a massive pot – enough to last the whole day at the busy restaurant.

Our Charro beans recipe is lightly adapted from the Bean Queen’s authentic Mexican bean recipe. And off course, ours doesn’t require a steel drum sized pot!

Charro Beans Recipe

Charro Beans vs. Borracho Beans

You’ll sometimes see Charro beans recipes referred to as “borracho” beans. Borracho in Spanish means “drunken” and references the addition of beer as an ingredient. To convert our Charro bean recipe to a borracho bean recipe, simply add a bottle of your favorite Mexican beer to the mix.

Slow Cooker Charro Beans

We typically cook these stovetop (just like the Bean Queen), but they can just as easily be prepared in a slow cooker. Simply soak the pinto beans, cook the bacon and sausage, and toss everything into the slow cooker.

Simmer until the beans are soft and the smokey bacon bean soup is the consistency you like. 

Frijoles Charros

Frijoles Charros

Receta de frijoles charro Mexicano con tocino ahumado y salchicha de chorizo

Ingredients

  • 454 gramos de frijoles pintos
  • 2 chiles serranos, en cubitos piqueños
  • 1 cubo de caldo de pollo
  • 2 tiras de tocino
  • 1 Enlace de Chorizo cortado en pequeños cubos/desmenuzado
  • 1 Cebolla mediana picada
  • 1 Diente de ajo (picado)
  • 1 pimiento rojo pequeño cortado en cubitos
  • 1 cucharada de pasta de tomate
  • 5 tomates pequeños cortados en cubitos

Instructions

  1. Remoje los frijoles durante la noche (12 horas) en 1.5 litros de agua. Escurrir y enjuagar los frijoles. Añade los frijoles y 1.5 litros de agua a una olla y cocínalos a fuego lento durante aproximadamente 3 horas o hasta que estén tiernos. Añade el cubo de caldo a la olla.
  2. Saltee el chorizo y el tocino a fuego medio. Cocina hasta que el tocino esté crujiente y la salchicha esté bien cocida.
  3. Añada la cebolla a la olla, revolviendo ocasionalmente, durante 5 minutos
  4. Añade el ajo y los chiles serranos, y el pimiento rojo y cocina por otros 3 minutos.
  5. Añade el tomate cortado en dados y la pasta de tomate a la sartén y continúa hirviendo a fuego lento durante 10 minutos.
  6. Añada la mezcla a los frijoles y cocine a fuego lento durante aproximadamente 20 minutos, revolviendo ocasionalmente.
  7. Añada sal y pimienta a gusto.
    Opcional: Sirva con una rebanada de lima, cilantro, pico de gallo y su salsa picante favorita para añadirla a su gusto junto con las tortillas.

Notes

Add more broth as desired if you want your beans to be more of a soup. Many Mexican restaurants serve it in this way as an appetizer.

Nutrition Information

Yield

6

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 207Total Fat 6gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 13mgSodium 276mgCarbohydrates 28gFiber 9gSugar 5gProtein 12g
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3 thoughts on “Mexican Charro Beans (Frijoles Charros)”

  1. This recipe reminds of the “New Mexican” cuisine many of the restaurants in Santa Fe offer now. The old standard of refried beans as a side is going out of favor. Now many of them serve beans whole beans dishes.

    Reply
  2. Does this soup just like the frijole charros at El Fogon in Playa? I have tried many times to recreate their soup but it’s never as good! I’ve tried hunting down someone to ask for their recipe but I can’t!!! One of the best things I’ve ever eaten!!

    Reply

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