Frijoles Charros – Mexican Cowboy Bean Stew

Yield: Aprox. 20 servings

DSC_1259bThe “Charros” were the Mexican version of cowboys, and they had a particularly satisfying way of preparing beans over an open fire. Using a piece of pig’s trotter thickens the stew a bit and gives the dish it’s particular flavor.


  • 2 lbs dry pinto beans, cleaned and soaked in water for 8 hours.
  • 4 quarts water
  • 1 piece pig’s trotter or feet
  • ½ lb. bacon, cubed
  • ½ lb. chorizo sausage, crumbled or diced
  • 1 onion, ½ small dice, ½ sliced thick
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 ancho pepper
  • 4 nopales (tenter cactus), cleaned and diced (optional)
  • 2 cups La Patrona Salsa Roja Norteña
  • 2 cups La Patrona Salsa Roja Fresca
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped

Drain the pinto beans from the soaking water and heat them with the 4 quarts water on a large steaming pot over high heat. Add the whole pig’s trotter and bring to a boil, then simmer on a slight rolling boil for 1 ½ hours, moving a little the stew with a wooden spoon every 15 minutes.

An hour into cooking the beans, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes or until the onion becomes slightly translucent, and add it to the pot. If the stew has become too thick, you can add a little water to loosen up. Add the La Patrona Salsa Roja Norteña to the stew and mix until well blended.

In the separate saucepan used for the onion, you can now start cooking the cubed chorizo sausage. While that cooks, stem and seed the ancho pepper (use rubber gloves if available) and toss it into the saucepan along the chorizo. Add the rest of the cubbed onion, bacon and nopales cactus and cook until slightly tender, about 10 minutes more.

Add the chorizo mix into the pot and mix until well blended. Check again the stew not to let it become too thick. Add about half of the La Patrona Salsa Roja Fresca and check for taste and seasoning. Add the rest of the Salsa Roja Fresca if you feel it needs a little more kick. Continue cooking for 30 more minutes before serving.

The stew is served pipping hot in soup bowls with some chopped cilantro and a slice of lemon on the side.

Categories: Recipes

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