AmazingRibs.com is supported by our Pitmaster Club. Also, when you buy with links on our site we may earn a finder’s fee. Click to see how we test and review products.

Borracho Beans: The Ultimate Drunken Beans Recipe

pinquito beans for borrachos

A slow simmer in beer is the secret to the best beans you’ve ever experienced.

Steve Sando is the man behind Rancho Gordo, a great source of every type of bean imaginable, and my go-to-guy when I have a bean question. As I was working on creating a list of the classic American bean dishes, I asked him for feedback. He told me about one I had never encountered, and now it ranks among my faves. This is one of the best recipes with beer that I know.

He says “As baked beans are to an Easterner, out West a bowl of borrachos (which translates roughly to mean “drunks”) is a comfort food beyond compare. Some of these beans, a good salad, and another bottle of beer to wash it all down is about all you need. The measurements and directions are very forgiving so don’t be afraid to improvise and come up with your own tradition.”

Here’s a recipe to do them properly, one that will make the perfect BBQ and grilling side dish for your next cookout.

For more of Steve’s his recipes, check out his book, Heirloom Beans: Great Recipes for Dips and Spreads, Soups and Stews, Salads and Salsas, and Much More from Rancho Gordo.

Cover of the book Heirloom Beans

Borrachos Drunken Beans Recipe


pinquito beans for borrachos
Tried this recipe?Tell others what you thought of it and give it a star rating below.
3.78 from 27 votes
Frijoles Borrachos are a classic Western way to cook beans in beer and this tested recipe shows you how to do them right.

Serve with: a lager.


Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Mexican

Makes:

Servings: 8 servings

Takes:

Prep Time: 12 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3/4 pound dried beans
  • 1 bottle lager beer
  • 2 slices good quality bacon
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 Serrano chiles
  • 1/2 pound fresh crimini mushrooms
  • Morton coarse kosher salt
  • finely ground black pepper
  • Lime wedges for serving
Notes:
About the beans. Any of the pinto-like beans are in order here. Sando also likes Rio Zape, Red Appaloosa, or Anasazi. If you use dried beans, you should read my article The Science of Beans to learn how to prep them. Sando sells dried beans so that's what he wants you to use, but you can use canned beans. Just substitute 3 (15 ounce) cans of beans will cut the cooking time to 2 hours.
About the salt. Remember, Morton coarse kosher salt is half the concentration of table salt so if you use table salt, use half as much. Click here to read more about salt and how it works.
 
Metric conversion:

These recipes were created in US Customary measurements and the conversion to metric is being done by calculations. They should be accurate, but it is possible there could be an error. If you find one, please let us know in the comments at the bottom of the page

Method

  • Prep. Dice the bacon. Coarsely chop the onion (enough for about 1 cup). Press or mince the garlic. Finely chop the serranos. Slice the mushrooms.
  • Cover the dried beans with 2" of water over their top. Soak the beans for 12 hours at least.
  • Cook. Add the beans to a large pot and boil for 30 minute as in my article The Science of Beans. Drain them and leave them in the pot.
  • Add the beer and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in an ungreased heavy skillet, over medium heat, cook the bacon until the fat is rendered. Move the bacon to some paper towels on top of some newspaper to drain them. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the oil from the skillet. Keep the flame at medium and cook the onion, garlic, and chiles in the bacon fat until they are soft and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Then add the mushrooms and cook until soft and wilted. Add the cooked bacon and stir.
  • Transfer this mixture to the beans, season with salt and pepper to your taste, add more water if you wish, and simmer for 10 minutes to allow flavors to blend.
  • Serve. Serve with warm corn tortillas and lime wedges.

Related articles

Published On: 1/11/2017 Last Modified: 4/24/2021

  • Meathead - Founder and publisher of AmazingRibs.com, Meathead is known as the site's Hedonism Evangelist and BBQ Whisperer. He is also the author of the New York Times Best Seller "Meathead, The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling", named one of the "100 Best Cookbooks of All Time" by Southern Living.


If you help us, we’ll pay you back bigtime with an ad-free experience and much more!

Millions come to AmazingRibs.com every month for quality tested recipes, tips on technique, science, mythbusting, product reviews, and inspiration. But it is expensive to run a website with more than 4,000 pages and we don’t have a big corporate partner like TV network or a magazine publisher to subsidize us.

Our most important source of sustenance is people who join our Pitmaster Club, but please don’t think of it as a donation. Members get 21 great benefits. We block all third-party ads, we give members free ebooks, magazines, interviews, webinars, more recipes, a monthly sweepstakes with prizes worth up to $2,000, discounts on products, and best of all a community of like-minded cooks free of flame wars. Click below to see all the benefits, take a free 30 day trial membership, and help keep this site alive.


Post comments and questions below

grouchy?

1) Please try the search box at the top of every page before you ask for help.

2) Try to post your question to the appropriate page.

3) Tell us everything we need to know to help such as the type of cooker and thermometer. Dial thermometers are often off by as much as 50°F so if you are not using a good digital thermometer we probably can’t help you with time and temp questions. Please read this article about thermometers.

4) If you are a member of the Pitmaster Club, your comments login is probably different.

5) Posts with links in them may not appear immediately.

Moderators

  Max

Click for comments...

Spotlight

These are not ads or paid placements. These are some of our favorite tools and toys.

These are products we have tested, won our top awards, and are highly recommend. Click here to read how we test, about our medals, and what they mean.

Use Our Links To Help Keep Us Alive

A big part of this site is our unbiased equipment and product reviews. We love playing with toys and we have no problem calling them the way we see them. Some companies pay a finder’s fee if a reader clicks a link on AmazingRibs.com and buys a product. It has zero impact on our reviews, zero impact on the price you pay, and the sites never tell us what you bought, but it has a major impact on our ability to keep this site alive! So before you buy, please click our links. Here’s a link that takes you to a page on Amazon that has some of our favorite tools and toys: https://tinyurl.com/amazingribs


Grilla Pellet Smoker proves good things come in small packages

We always liked Grilla. The small 31.5″ x 29.5″ footprint makes it ideal for use where BBQ space is limited, as on a condo patio.
Click here for our review on this unique smoker


Blackstone Rangetop Combo: Griddle And Deep Fryer In One


The flat top does the burgers and the fryer does the fries. Use the griddle for bacon, eggs, grilled cheese, and so much more. And why deep fry indoors when you can avoid the smell and mess by doing it outside!

Click here to read our detailed review and to order


The Good-One Is A Superb Grill And A Superb Smoker All In One


The Good-One Open Range is dramatically different from a traditional offset smoker. By placing the heat source behind and under the smokebox instead of off to the side, Open Range produces even temperature from left to right, something almost impossible to achieve with a standard barrel shaped offset.

Click here to read our complete review



Surely you know somebody who loves outdoor cooking who deserves a gift for the holidays, birthday, anniversary, or just for being wonderful. There he is, right in the mirror! Here are our selections of best ideas, all Platinum or Gold Medalists, listed by price.

Click here to see our list of Gold Medal Gifts


Our Favorite Backyard Smoker

The amazing Karubecue is the most innovative smoker in the world. The quality of meat from this machine is astonishing. At its crux is a patented firebox that burns logs above the cooking chamber and sucks heat and extremely clean blue smoke into the thermostat controlled oven. It is our favorite smoker, period.
Click here for our review of this superb smoker


The Efficiency Of A Kamado Plus The Flexibility Of The Slow ‘N Sear Insert

kamado grill
Built around SnS Grill’s patented Slow ‘N Sear charcoal kettle accessory, this 22-inch kamado is a premium ceramic grill that brings true 2-zone cooking to a kamado.

Click here for our article on this exciting cooker


The Cool Kettle With The Hinged Hood We Always Wanted


Napoleon’s 22″ Pro Cart Charcoal Kettle Grill puts a few spins on the familiar kettle design. In fact, the hinged lid with a handle on the front, spins in a rotary motion 180 degrees. It’s hard to beat a Weber kettle, but Napoleon holds its own and adds some unique features to make the 22″ Pro Cart a viable alternative.

Click here for more about what makes this grill special