Frijoles Charros

Frijoles Charros

1 pound cooked (but still firm) pinto beans
1 12-ounce bottle dark Mexican beer or other dark beer
4 pickled jalapeno chilies, or to taste, finely chopped (see note)
3 tablespoons lard or bacon drippings
1 medium-small onion, finely chopped (about 2/3 cup)
2 small garlic cloves, minced
2 medium-large ripe, red tomatoes, coarsely chopped (about 2 cups)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For this recipe, the pinto beans should be slightly undercooked (be sure to use plenty of liquid in cooking). Also, if you can find fresh epazote (seeds of the wormseed plant), an herb used in Latino cooking, cook the beans with a large sprig of it. If you can find only dried epazote, use 11/2 teaspoons.

Drain beans and place in a large bean pot or Dutch oven with the beer and chopped jalapenos. Bring to a boil.

While the beans are heating, heat the lard or drippings in a medium saucepan or sauté pan over high heat until fragrant. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper. Add the mixture to the beans, bring to a boil and reduce the heat to low. Simmer, partly covered, until the flavors are melded, about 10 minutes. Adjust seasonings if necessary.