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3.62 from 26 votes

Frijoles Charros (Cowboy Beans)

These frijoles charros are flavored with smoky bacon, onions, garlic, fire roasted diced tomatoes, and jalapeño slices. They can be made in a slow cooker, in a dutch oven on the stovetop, or in a magical Instant Pot. 
Prep Time7 mins
Cook Time3 hrs 13 mins
Total Time3 hrs 20 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 6
Calories: 559kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 to 5 slices thick cut bacon cut crosswise into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 medium white onion cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño sliced
  • 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice (preferably fire-roasted)
  • 1 pound dried pinto beans about 2 1/2 cups
  • Salt
  • 1 cup loosely packed roughly chopped cilantro

Instructions

  • Measure out the beans. Spread the beans over your counter so you can look for beans that are broken, discolored, or shriveled and remove them. There will also be small stones or pebbles that should be sorted out of the beans during this phase. Discard all of the undesirable pieces.
  • Place beans in a colander. Rinse the beans thoroughly with cool water.
  • In a removable insert of a 6-quart slow cooker (or a large 10-inch skillet if your slow cooker does not have a stove-top safe insert) set over medium heat, cook the bacon several minutes, stirring regularly, until bacon starts to brown and renders its fat.  Add the onion and cook until golden, about 6 to 8 minutes.  Add garlic and jalapeños and cook until the garlic begins to brown and is fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes and cook another minute.
  • Fit the insert into the slow cooker (or transfer the mixture from the skillet to the slow cooker) and add the beans, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 7 cups of water. Cover and turn the slow cooker to high. Your beans will be done in 3 to 4 hours, though you can hold them for longer.
  • When ready to serve, remove 2 cups of the beans and process in a blender or food processor until smooth.  Add the smooth beans back to pot and stir in the cilantro. Taste and season with more salt if needed. Ladle into bowls and serve.

No Slow Cooker?

  • Follow the directions for cooking the bacon, onion, garlic, chiles and tomatoes in a medium-large (4- to 6-quart) pot (preferably a Dutch oven) over medium-high.  Add the beans, salt, and 2 ½ quarts water. Bring to a rolling boil, then reduce to medium-low and cook the beans at a gentle simmer, partially covered, until thoroughly tender, about 2 hours. (You’ll find it necessary to add water from time to time to ensure that the level of liquid remains about the same.)  Finish the recipe as directed above.

Instructions for Instant Pot:

  • Select Sauté on the Instant Pot and follow the directions for cooking the bacon, onion, garlic, and chiles.
  • Add tomatoes, beans, salt, and 7 cups water. 
  • Use “manual” setting for 30 minutes of pressure.
  • Allow pressure to naturally release, approximately 30 to 40 minutes.
  • When ready to serve, remove 2 cups of the beans and process in a blender or food processor until smooth.  Add the smooth beans back to pot and stir in the cilantro. Taste and season with more salt if needed. Ladle into bowls and serve.

Video

Notes

  • Soak beans for one hour or overnight.
  • Beans can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.
  • The beans can be frozen in small bowls for later use.

Nutrition

Calories: 559kcal | Carbohydrates: 75g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 255mg | Potassium: 1712mg | Fiber: 18g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 321IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 140mg | Iron: 6mg