Drunken Pintos With Cilantro & Bacon (Frijoles Charros)

Prep Time
Cook Time
Ready In

"These beans are wonderful. If you're short on time, you can even use canned pinto beans. But try making from scratch, as it makes a HUGE difference! This is Rick Bayless' version of Frijoles Charros"

Original recipe yields 6 servings


  • Serving Size: 1 (312.9 g)
  • Calories 180.1
  • Total Fat - 11.4 g
  • Saturated Fat - 3.7 g
  • Cholesterol - 38.7 mg
  • Sodium - 747.9 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 5.6 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 2.1 g
  • Sugars - 2.8 g
  • Protein - 13.6 g
  • Calcium - 26 mg
  • Iron - 1.1 mg
  • Vitamin C - 19.8 mg
  • Thiamin - 0.3 mg


Step 1

Sort and rinse the beans thoroughly. Scoop into a 4 quart saucepan and add 5 cups water; remove any beans that float.

Step 2

Add the cubed pork (or extra chopped bacon) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and gently simmer, partially covered, until tender, about 2 hours.

Step 3

Stir gently occasionally, and keep water level a good 1/2 inch above the level of the beans.


Step 4

In a medium skillet, fry the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon but leave behind the drippings. Pour off all the drippings except 2 Tablespoons.

Step 5

Return pan to medium heat. Add the onions and chiles and fry until deep golden brown, about 10 minutes.

Step 6

Scrape the onion mixture into the beans; taste and season with salt.

Step 7

Continue simmering, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes to blend the flavors. If the beans seem soupy, boil over medium heat until they are the consistency of a nice brothy bean soup.

Step 8

You can also take 1/4 of the beans and run them through the blender with a bit of broth, then return to pan.

Step 9

Just before serving, stir in the tequila and cilantro. Serve in warm bowls topped with the crumbled bacon.

Tips & Variations

No special items needed.



When I saw that this is a "Rick Bayless" recipe I was immediately sold. Love that guy. He has so much passion for Mexican cuisine and I so respect that. These are so obviously Mexican and we love Mexican food. The addition of the tequila at the end is brilliant and with the cilantro (one of my faves), Oh Yeah! Had these on the side with our Chicken Tinga and we were so happy. Thank you, Lori, for sharing another wonderful recipe. Made it "For Your Consideration" tag game.

review by:
(27 May 2022)

Smells Like Salad

I have to admit-the first thought that pops into my brain when I see the word "charro" attached to a Mexican recipe is "Uh oh, beer ahead!" (don't like beer.) Then I saw the word 'tequila' and my mood vastly changed. I served the chilies on the side (so kiddo could enjoy the beans, too.) and the cilantro was garnished on top of the beans instead of stirred into them. Pink beans replaced pinto for a change of scenery. Great with tortillas and all the fixings and a crisp tossed salad with spring greens. Beans were prepped on the stove top then transferred to a slow cooker to cook on LOW for 2-3 hours. Made for the Beverage Tag game.

(5 Mar 2016)

Daily Inspiration

Delicious pinto beans. Made as directed with the exception that I made my beans in the pressure cooker. These beans were a great addition to our fajita dinner tonight. Nancy

(5 May 2015)