COWBOY BEANS (FRIJOLES CHARROS)

COWBOY BEANS (FRIJOLES CHARROS)

Named after Mexican cowboys, “charros”, these beans are spicy, meaty, and extremely satisfying when served with warmed buttered flour tortillas. For convenience, we call for canned pinto beans. But you can start with dried pinto beans if you don’t mind cooking them yourself: It’s a cheaper alternative. Soak the dried beans overnight, then prepare according to package directions before following the below recipe.

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Ingredients

  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 3 to 4 Mexican chorizo sausage links, about 1/2 pound
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 large onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 jalapeno or serrano chiles, stemmed, seeded, and minced
  • Five 15.5-ounce cans pinto beans, drained, rinsed, and drained again
  • One 10-ounce can diced tomatoes with chiles, such as Rotel brand
  • One 12-ounce bottle of beer, preferably Mexican
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dry oregano, preferably Mexican
  • Chicken broth, as needed
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • Mexican-style hot sauce, for serving
  • 1-1/2 to 2 pounds bone-in country-style pork ribs or pork steaks or chops

Preparation

When ready to cook, start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes).

Generously season the country-style pork ribs on all sides with salt and pepper. Smoke the ribs for 1 hour, then increase the temperature of your Traeger to 325 degrees F. Continue to cook the pork. At the same time, arrange the chorizo and bacon directly on the grill grate. After 25 to 30 minutes, transfer all the meat to a cutting board. Remove any bones from the pork and chop into bite-size pieces. Slice the chorizo into 1/4-inch slices. Dice the bacon. Put all the meat into a large Dutch oven or lidded heatproof casserole.

Add the garlic, onion, jalapenos, pinto beans, tomatoes, beer, cumin, and oregano; stir to combine. If the mixture seems a little dry, add chicken broth or water, 1 cup at a time. Cover the Dutch oven or casserole and return to the grill.

Bake the beans for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally. If the beans seem too soupy (these beans are traditionally soupy), remove the lid. If they seem dry, stir in a little chicken broth or water. During the last 15 minutes of cooking, stir in the cilantro. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as needed. Serve with hot sauce.