Spice Your Boring Beans Up! Two Of The Best Frijole Recipes You Should Try

Como estas, amigo? I welcome you to another fun-filled article dealing with how to make frijoles.

Mexican bean stew or “frijoles” are a staple food in the Southwest. Not only is it a popular cuisine in Mexico but it’s also popular in Texas .

These mouthwatering beans get its savory flavor from the various ingredients such as slow-cooked pork, cilantro, chiles, pinto beans, tomatoes, onion, and garlic that are mixed together and simmered for long hours to curate the perfect dish.

Definitely, the dish shares that similar “signature taste” with other native Mexican dishes due to the onions, chiles, and cilantro that, as you may have noticed, have always been the key ingredients used in every Mexican cooking.

Frijoles are nutritious, very economical (yes, this recipe won’t put a hole in your pocket), tasty, and liked by people of all ages which makes it an ideal food to serve at parties and barbecues.

Frijoles are great as flavorful sides to meals, rice, and other entrees, and they can fill a burrito too. The dish can be cooked in a flash, however the preparation of the ingredients may take some time.

After all, it’s a lot more satisfying to eat the fruit of your long labor. Just be easy on the chiles if you’ll serve it to kids! Truly, frijoles is an amazing recipe. You should try and see it for yourself!

What Sets Frijoles Apart From Each Other?

Different beans can be used for making frijole.

The highlight of frijoles is the variant of beans used. If you’re into Mexican food for quite a while now (like me, I’m addicted to it!), you’ll quickly notice that the taste of frijoles from different Mexican restaurants doesn’t fall far from each other.

But the only thing that may change is the bean variant used. Pinto beans are most commonly used in Native Mexican and Tex-Mex frijoles, as well as Southwestern American-Mexican cuisine.

But within the different regions of Mexico, both black and red beans are often the base of frijoles. Some varieties also combine two or more types of beans for a more complex flavor.

Hence, if you’re having a hard time looking for available pinto beans in your state, you can alternatively use red and black beans.

Preparing The Beans

In the traditional Mexican way of cooking frijoles, the beans are soaked overnight to soften up, which is optional. Then the beans (soaked or raw) are stewed until cooked then drained of water.

The cooked beans are then mashed into a paste using a fork, spoon, masher or pressed through a sieve. To avoid the drying of the beans, a small amount of water, vegetable, or chicken stock is added.

You see, the process may take a while but it’s definitely worth it.

The Salt Pork

Another key ingredient used in every frijole recipe is the salt pork. Salt pork is simply cured pork belly. It appears as a slab of bacon, except it isn’t smoked. It adds flavor and fat (which tastes good, sorry) to the dish.

You may find it hard to purchase a kilo of salt pork because they’re not available in most markets but as a rule of thumb, “what you can’t obtain, you can just make”.

Salt pork is extremely easy to make. Simply rub the belly part with a generous amount of rock salt and leave it inside the fridge for a couple of days for the salt to seep into the meat.

Just be careful when leaving the meat for days because the longer it’s stored inside the fridge, the saltier it tastes. For frijoles, prepare the salt pork and leave it for 2-3 days before cooking the beans.

For starters, make your own salt pork first before cooking the frijole. For the frijole recipe, I’d like to introduce to you the 2 frijole recipes I learned and tried. These two recipes are the bomb! They’re easy and fast to cook plus they taste exceptional. 

Let’s get cooking then!

Recipe 1: The Traditional Frijole Recipe

What you’ll need

  • 1 pound dried pinto beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 5 ounces salt pork
  • ​1 medium onion
  • ​1 large tomato
  • ​3 garlic cloves
  • ​1 serrano chile
  • ​1 fresh cilantro bunch
  • ​½ tsp pepper
  • ​½ tsp salt
  • 9 cups water

Procedure

Step 1. Chop the ingredients. Chop onion and tomato into quarters then slice into pieces. Slice garlic cloves thinly. Likewise, chop the salt pork into cubes.

Step 2. In a saucepan, pour water then add the rinsed beans. Simmer over medium heat until the beans become tender while stirring occasionally. This step may take 40 minutes to 1 hour.

Step 3. After the beans have been thoroughly cooked, drain the water. Mash the beans with a spoon, fork, or masher until thoroughly crushed.

Step 4. In a separate frying pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Fry the salt pork pieces until brown. Set aside.

Step 5. In the saucepan where the beans are, add 2 cups water, followed by the fried salt pork, pepper, onion, tomato, garlic, cilantro, and chile. Simmer over medium heat until the salt pork become tender enough. This step may take half an hour. Lastly, add half a tablespoon of salt to the cooked food. This is done last to avoid making the beans brittle.

Step 6. Transfer into a bowl and serve. Enjoy!

Recipe 2: Frijoles Borrachos

This next dish is fondly called the “drunken beans” because it makes use of beer as the sauce. A food that will keep you full and drunk at the same time because.. why not?

Of course, I’m just kidding. Most of the alcohol evaporates during the process, leaving you your frijole with a soupy and savory texture. Oh, it has the magic food that we all love too! Yes, I’m talking about bacon.

What you’ll need

  • 1 pound dried pinto beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 5 ounces salt pork
  • ​2 medium onion
  • ​2 large tomato/ 6 small tomatoes
  • ​3 garlic cloves
  • ​1 serrano chile
  • ​1 fresh cilantro bunch
  • ​½ tsp pepper
  • ​½ tsp salt
  • ​3 cups water
  • ​3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ​3 cups dark Mexican beer
  • 5 bacon strips

Procedure

Step 1. Chop the ingredients. Chop onion and tomato into quarters then slice into pieces. Slice garlic cloves thinly. Likewise, chop the salt pork into cubes and dice the bacon strips.

Step 2. In a saucepan, pour water then add the rinsed beans. Simmer over medium heat until the beans become tender while stirring occasionally. This step may take 40 minutes to 1 hour.

Step 3. After the beans have been thoroughly cooked, drain the water. Mash beans with a spoon, fork, or masher until thoroughly crushed.

Step 4. In a separate frying pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Fry the salt pork pieces together with the diced bacon until brown. Set aside.

Step 5. Pour beer over the cooked meat. Add the beans, 2 cups water, fried salt pork and bacon, pepper, onion, tomato, garlic, cilantro, and chile. Simmer for 20 minutes over medium-low heat before adding the final touch which is salt.

Step 6. Transfer into a bowl and serve. Enjoy!

Final Thoughts

Now this recipe is a scrumptious one. It’ll leave you wanting for more! The dark beer makes a deep, dark sauce which is more appealing but any beer would do if you can’t find dark beer.

Making a nutritious protein-filled frijole isn’t as hard as you think. Though cooking the beans might take some time, the following steps after it are a breeze.

The end result for both recipes is a soupy, savory, and super tasty stewed beans that will make the perfect side dish to every food. Guaranteed that this dish will be a hit at your next dinner party!

Hey there! Have you tried making frijole? How’d you do it? What’s your special ingredient? We’d love to hear it! Comment your thoughts below!

Would you also share this article, please? It’s highly appreciated. Cheers!

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