Mexican Beans, from www.PremierSystems.Com/recipes
Google: Bruce Moffitt


This is the traditional northern Mexican recipe, taught to me years ago by an old friend, Jose Maria Arballo of San Jose de Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico. Ojala que Los Dios guardan a su alma.

To a large sauce pan - about the size of a pressure cooker add:

  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups pinto beans, (Mexican: "Frijoles pintos")
  • 10-12 cups water
  • ham hock, or some bacon or bacon grease, or a chunk of fat meat
  • 3 bay leaves
  • several hot dry red chiles like tepine, pico de gallo, pequin or Tabasco

Wash beans well after picking out rocks ect. Soak all of above overnight, then bring slowly to a simmer. (A faster way is to bring all of above slowly to a simmer, turn off heat and let sit for an hour, then bring slowly back to simmer.)


  • Half a dozen cloves of garlic
  • 1 Tbl. dry leaf oregano
  • 1 tsp. whole cumin seed, crushed a bit
  • good grind black pepper
  • 1-4 Tbl. pure ground red chile powder
  • 1 tsp. vinegar
  • Add to taste: More little dry chiles.

Simmer very slowly for several hours until beans are very tender. Add water as needed to maintain level and stir gently occasionally so they don't stick. When beans are quite tender, remove from heat and stir in:

  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • bit of salt

Note: Don't add salt until beans are done, it will make them tough. For frijoles refritos, fry up some beans and their juice in a bit of grease, mashing the beans and stirring them around until they are quite dry. Don't scorch. See the recipe for chorizo for more on this.

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