Cowboy Beans! thx!


These beans are a variation on a special-occasion go-to at my house: “Borracho,” or drunken beans. They are full of smoky flavor and can be as spicy as you choose.


(2) 14.5 oz cans pinto beans
(1) cups water
Olive oil
(1) large onion
(4) cloves garlic
(1) tablespoons ground cumin
(1) 14 oz can diced tomatoes
(1) 7.5 oz can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
(1) 12 oz can of beer — cheap is fine


Drain the pinto beans and pour them into a 3- or 4-quart saucepan.

Rough dice the onion and garlic. They don’t have to be perfect or uniform, just cut into small pieces so they can melt into the beans.

Pour a glug of olive oil into a medium size frying pan. Sauté the onion, garlic and cumin on medium high until onions are translucent — about 6 minutes. Keep them moving with a wooden spoon to make sure they don’t fry or crisp up.
Add the sautéed onions, the can of tomatoes, the can of beer and a healthy pinch of salt to the beans and bring to a boil. When beans boil, back the heat off to a simmer and taste for salt balance.

Depending on how spicy you like it, chop the chipotle chiles into small pieces and add anywhere from 1⁄2 to the whole can. Keep in mind that the chipotles have a long, smoky finish and will definitely be spicy. Save the chipotle sauce for the chicken.

Simmer your beans for 35 minutes. Make sure the heat stays low so they don’t boil, just keep at a light simmer. They are done when they are soft but not mushy. Taste for salt balance before serving.

Prep Ahead: These beans can be made the morning of or even the day before and then reheated for dinner. You can reheat them on your campfire if you choose.