Charro Beans – Development of Our Recipe

This post contains the link to the inspiration for our beans that is at MyLatinaKitchen.com and the cooks that will lead to our recipe for charro beans. First made these on Dec. 11, 2016 based on the recipe linked below. Simple but creates a nice broth where adding the fresh veggies shortly before serving makes it a great dish. See the process below used on Sep 2, 2017 during Hurricane Harvey for what worked great.

Ingredients & Method

Boil gently 1 lb. pinto beans + half onion + 4 cloves garlic until tender but not falling apart.

Once beans tender poured them into bowl. In bean pot: sauteed 4 pieces of thick sliced bacon cut into bite size pieces until releasing fat then add ~16 inches of jalapeno cajun sausage and ~1 cup of ham, cut into cubes. Saute until hot. Added beans back to pot. First time we made this (12/11/16) had a piece of homemade pork tasso so chopped and added it. [See paragraph below where having only a ham bone turned out great.]

When beans and meat have meld (~30 minutes later) added below ingredients and simmered but not so much they lost body.
2 tomatoes, diced
1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1/2 onion
1 chipotle pepper from the can plus ~2T adobe sauce
2 cloves
pepper, oregano, paprika, cumin, and salt to taste.

Instructions – Below is the original recipe at MyLatinaTable.com somewhat modified. But, the directions above is how we cooked it the first time on 12/11/2016.

  1. Cook the Pinto Beans until tender but firm with half an onion and four garlic cloves all chopped coarsely.
  2. Add the bacon to a large pot and cook until starting to release the far.
  3. Add the other meat and cook until hot and sizzling. Add the seasoning and the canned adobe pepper and some juice. Let simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the beans with its liquid and original veggies.
  5. Add the tomatoes, cilantro, the onion, the jalapeno cook for 5 additional minutes.
  6. Bring back to near boil and let simmer. Add tomatoes, cilantro, and onion 5 minutes before serving hot.

3/5/2017 – Made them for the third time and everyone raved. The difference was the day before boiled a ham bone for about 4 hours and then it sat overnight. Did not add any other meat. Next morning put beans into boiling water and turned off to soak for 1-1/2 hours with 1/2 onion and 5-6 garlic toes–Mary and I both added garlic. Poured off the dark water and rinsed the beans. Poured them into the ham broth with the ham pieces and bones. Added seasonings and simmered until almost tender then let sit until just before early dinner. Reheated about 45 minutes before serving and added the fresh veggies sans the jalapeno.

6/10/2017 – For seasoning proportions for 1 lb. dry pinto beans added:

  1. Good shake of pepper around the DO twice
  2. 1T dry oregano
  3. 1T smoked paprika
  4. 1t cumin
  5. salt to taste after the beans were tender

9/2/2017 – Made a second batch in a little different order and more like the original recipe. This cook was better than the others.

  1. Brought ham bone (this one was very meaty) in water to a boil and simmered for 90 minutes.
  2. At same time added dry beans to boiling water and let soak for about 90 minutes.
  3. Drained and rinsed beans then added to ham bone water with onion and garlic.
  4. Fried bacon until it was about to turn crispy. Added smoked jalapeno sausage to the bacon.  Cooked until lightly browned.  Added mixture to the beans after the beans had simmered for about 1 hour.
  5. Simmered until beans were almost tender. Added spices (because Mary kept thinking they did not look right, went back to the recipe and realized we had not put the spices in.)
  6. Simmered for another hour or so.
  7. Turned it off and let it sit (covered) until we were ready to eat.
  8. Removed what we would eat that evening and added fresh veggies just before serving. Future servings will be with fresh veggies.

This cook was the best to date.


11/12/2017 – Made 1 lb. dry Magnolia pinto beans. Put meaty ham bone (the sugar glaze cut off) in a No. 8 DO filled with filtered water. Brought to a boil, reduced and simmered for 90 minutes. At same time added the dry beans to boiling water that had a medium toe of garlic and an onion wedge. Beans soaked for about an hour. Drained and rinsed beans then added to ham bone water with onion and garlic. Simmered until beginning to get tender then went to Stille Goode to get Mary’s new curio Cabinet for next to the fireplace at the farm.

The next morning I picked out the ham fat and scrap. Added:

Fresh ground black pepper shook twice around the DO
1T dry oregano
1T smoked sweet paprika
1t cumin

Simmer for an hour then added 50% more of the spices and simmered. Turned it off and let it sit (covered) until we were ready to eat. The idea of adding more spices late in the cook comes from Paul Prudhomme’s way with creole and cajun dishes where he adds the seasoning at three different times so some are well incorporated and the later has some punch.

Removed what we would eat that evening and added the fresh veggies below just before serving. Future servings will be with fresh veggies.

2 tomatoes, diced
1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1/2 onion
1 chipotle pepper from the can plus ~2T adobe sauce
2 cloves

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