Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Frijoles Charros

Frijoles charros are a common accompaniment to meat dishes here, they are pinto beans cooked with meat and served in a light broth and are served on a bowl on the side. The ingredients vary slightly, bacon is definitely used, as are onion and garlic and the remaining ingredients are selected from tomato, sausage, chorizo, epasote and sometimes a hint of corriander.

The important thing is that there is quite a lot of broth, therefore the quantity of water used in cooking the beans is larger than normal.

I'm now convinced that the easiest and quickest way to cook beans is in a pressure cooker. No soaking, no waiting. (No forgetting that the beans are soaking and finding them fermenting a few days afterwards)

Frijoles Charros
3 cups of dried pinto beans
12 cups of water
1 tablespoon of lard
2 teaspoons of salt (I used Kosher, so a little less if you are using table salt)
1/2 to 1 cup of onion, medium diced.
2 cloves of garlic, chopped.
1 good sized tomato, diced
1/2 cup or more of bacon, smoked if possible, chopped and preferably pre-cooked.
Chorizo, to taste, either Spanish cured or Mexican uncooked can be used, (cook the raw chorizo first).
Jalapeno, preferably canned but fresh are fine too. Don't use too much this isn't a very spicy dish.
Epasote or corriander if available and desired.

Cooking the dish is a simple as combining everything in the pressure, clamping on the lid and bringing the pot up to pressure. When the pot comes to pressure reduce the heat to very low and cook for an hour like this.

I don't like the routine of running the pot under cold water after cooking and prefer to simply let the pot cool in it's own time (a little extra cooking time may need to be factored in if you don't plan to do the same - I'm not sure!).

This will make a couple of liters of beans, and they will keep for at least a few days in the fridge.

Simple, quick and tasty.

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