The easiest and best recipe EVER for perfect, homemade charro beans. Seriously, beans don't get easier or tastier than this, folks! Featuring pinto beans, bacon, and jalapeños.
Homemade, baked beans are totally underrated in my book. When I was kid, I can recall one of my sweet aunts (nope, not naming names here) bringing a casserole dish of Boston-style baked beans, with lines of bacon laying across the top to each and every family barbecue. It was a simple, dump and bake kind of recipe. While I am secretly over here praying my aunt never reads this post, I really do think if time isn't of the essence, beans deserve a little better than that.
Now, I know starting a pot of beans at home requires a little planning ahead, but really, other than that, there's not much to it. Canned beans don't hold a candle to homemade beans...well, homemade beans done right. Which, no worries over here on our end, because I have got that all taken care for us.
When I kicked off the recipe testing for homemade pinto beans, I started off using the crockpot, as crockpot recipes are often requested from my TAK friends. However, I just can't help myself from going back to the good ol' Dutch oven every time. It's like the bad boyfriend I just can't get over. Except, it's not a bad boyfriend at all. It's actually totally marriage material.
Yup, I love the Dutch oven and I can't seem to stay away from it. It gives me the ability to move from stovetop to oven, only dirtying up one pot; allows me to brown meats and saute veggies, building flavor on top of flavor.
It even helps me to keep my food at a nice warm, serving temperature because of its heavy duty, cast iron construction. Plus, ya know, it's pretty, and I just love a good pop of color from that shiny enamel coating.
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST HOMEMADE PINTO BEANS
I start by searing little cubes of bacon, then throw in some onion and jalapenos and let that hang around for a while. Add in the pintos, a pretty serious amount of chili powder and we are well on our way to the best pot of charro beans you ever laid your pretty little tastebuds on.
I can boast all day long about this recipe being easy and tasty, however, I am going to have to refrain from using any verbiage along the lines of "quick," because homemade beans do indeed take some time.
They were meant for slow-cooking on the weekend or a day that you've got a little time kill...and people to feed. People to feed because one little ol' pot of beans goes a long, long way. However, if you do end up with some leftovers, grab yourself a bag of your favorite dipping chips, because you're snack time cravings are about to be fulfilled. Leftover charro beans make for a glorious homemade bean dip.
The easiest and best recipe EVER for perfect, homemade charro beans.
- 1 pound dried pinto beans
- 6 slices thick-cut bacon diced
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 4 jalapenos seeded and diced
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 ½ teaspoons Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 5 ½ cups water separated
- 1 jalapeno thinly sliced for garnish (if desired)
The night before you intend to cook the beans, sort through beans and discard of any rocks or pebble fragments, rinse and transfer to a large bowl. Cover with water by 2-3 inches and allow to soak overnight.
Preheat the oven to 325°.
Strain the beans, rinse and set aside until ready to use. Have ready a plate lined with paper towels. Place Dutch oven over medium-high heat and the cubes of bacon. Saute for 8-10 minutes, or until the bacon is crispy. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside on the paper towels to absorb any excess grease. Add the onions and jalapeños and sauté 5-7 minutes, or until softened. Add the rinsed beans, chili powder, salt and pepper, and cover with 4 cups of water. Add the bacon back into the Dutch oven, stir, cover with lid and transfer to the oven.
Bake for 2 hours, covered. Remove lid, add 1 ½ cup of water to the beans, stir and bake for 1 hour more, uncovered, stirring occasionally. Remove from the oven, stir in sliced jalapeño (if desired), serve and enjoy.
NOTE! You must allow the beans to SOAK OVERNIGHT before proceeding with the recipe.
BONUS RECIPE! MAKE BEAN DIP WITH THE LEFTOVERS!
- 2 cups leftover Mexican Charro Beans
- 1 ounce water
- 2 tablespoon chopped pickled jalapeños
In a food processor, combine leftover beans and water. Process until smooth. Stir in chopped jalapenos.
Makes about 2 cups.