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Borracho ("drunken") Beans

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“When I served these to the DH, his response was: "These aren't good, they're GREAT!" I added heat with 1 morita chili (like dried chipotles, only made with smoked red rather than green jalapenos). Got the recipe from a friend who has kinfolk in New Mexico.”
3hrs 15mins

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 2 lbs pinto beans (or rosado, flor de Mayo, pinquito, etc., if you can find them)
  • 3 pieces bacon, diced (use smoky variety)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds (or to taste)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1 (12 ounce) bottle beer (Victoria, Tecate, Dos Equis, avoid dark beer or ales as they add too much flavor)
  • 1 morita chili (optional, substitute dried chipotle)


  1. Soak pinto beans overnight.
  2. In a non-reactive stewpot (I use an enameled one, but stainless OK too, or a dutch kettle) cook bacon.
  3. When cooked (but not crisp) add onion, garlic, and the finely chopped stems from cilantro; and saute all this until soft.
  4. Toast cumin, grind and add. Add tomatoes, including juice, the beans, beer, morita (or chipotle) and enough water to cover. Bring to boil, then simmer over low heat for 2-3 hrs (or at this point cover & put the whole mess in a slow oven or a crock pot), adding water as needed, until beans are tender.
  5. In the last 15 min or so of cooking add the chopped cilantro tops and adjust salt to taste at the same time.
  6. Like all beans, they taste even better after a day or two & the leftovers freeze well.

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