Drunken Mexican Beans with Cilantro and Bacon


Here is a delicious bean dish I absolutely adore. It’s from Rick Bayless. I have all his cookbooks. I love how he makes authentic Mexican food so accessible. Don’t get me wrong, I love gringo style Mexican food a ton, but sometimes I crave the real deal. Whenever I want the real thing, I immediately start scanning my Rick Bayless collection of cookbooks! They’re filled with things I can’t wait to try. This time I served these yummy beans with some unbelievable pork tacos that I can’t wait to share with you. Next time you are serving Mexican food, give these beans a try. They’re a delicious alternative to refried beans and they’re flavored with some extra fabulous ingredients. I mean tequila and bacon. These aint no canned beans baby. I’m just sayin…[/donotprint]

Drunken Mexican Beans with Cilantro and Bacon

By September 11, 2011


  1. Β Rinse the beans thoroughly and scoop into a medium-size Dutch oven. Add 5 cups water, remove any beans that float, then add the pork shoulder (or extra chopped bacon) and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and very gently simmer, partially covered, until the beans are thoroughly tender, about 2 hours. You'll need to gently stir the beans regularly and add water as necessary to keep the liquid a generous 1/2 inch above the level of the beans.
  2. In a medium-size skillet, fry the bacon (that is, the remaining bacon if you used some for the simmering), stirring regularly, until crisp, about 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the bacon, leaving behind as much of the drippings as possible. Pour off all but about 2 tablespoons of the drippings and return the pan to medium heat. Add the onion and chiles and fry until deep golden brown, about 10 minutes. Scrape the onion mixture into the beans, then taste and season it all with salt. Continue simmering, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 30 minutes to blend the flavors. If the beans seem quite soupy, boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the consistency of a nice, brothy bean soup. (An alternative here is to puree 1/4 of the beans in a food processor or blender, returning them to the pot to thicken the broth.)
  3. Just before serving, stir in the tequila and cilantro, then serve in warm bowls topped with the crumbled bacon.



[donotprint]Source: Rick Bayless[/donotprint]

35 Responses to Drunken Mexican Beans with Cilantro and Bacon

  1. Sinful Sundays

    Woo! These do look and sound like the real deal. They look great! I love tex-mex too, but when you can make the real stuff, that's even better! πŸ™‚

  2. Coleens Recipes

    This sounds fantastic, I love the “real deal” too.

  3. Chris

    Dang, I want those for breakfast!

  4. Reeni

    Your beans look excellent Kathleen! My Dad would absolutely love them! xoxo

  5. That Girl

    Bean dishes are great for both sides and main courses. Or maybe that's just me!

  6. Deb

    oh, yum! thanks for sharing.

  7. Julie

    Those look so flavorful! A big slab of cornbread along side those and I'd be in heaven πŸ™‚

  8. thedrivencook.com

    I've really been enjoying beans lately and this looks like an amazing bean dish!

  9. Barbara

    Anything with a name like that and an invention of Rick Bayless has GOT to be fabulous! Keeping this recipe for winter, Kathleen.

  10. Kitchen Belleicious

    I give up! I will do them! I see recipes for drunken beans all the time but I am not a bean fan- my husband is though and maybe this is a sign that I have to, must, have these for him. He would be in heaven. I have to admit they do look amazing

  11. Carrie

    These look wonderful! I love Rick Bayless too – his recipes never, ever disappoint. I've seen this one in one of my books but haven't made it yet….looks like I'll have to soon!

  12. teresa

    oh i would gobble these up so happily! i love mexican beans, delicious!

  13. urbanstrawberries

    You had me at Mexican. I love Mexican food and these beans look like a must try this week! I'll also have to look into Rick Bayless cookbooks. Thanks!

  14. Maggie @MaggieCooks

    Im so glad you love mexican food!
    This look sooooo good! πŸ˜€

  15. Amish Stories

    This dish looks great, and it wont cost you an arm and a leg to make. Richard

  16. Cathy at Wives with Knives

    Yum! Rick's recipes are always great. I like that it doesn't have 50 ingredients like some of the bean recipes call for. Looking forward to trying this, Kathleen.

  17. Shelby

    you know the way to my heart is cilantro. πŸ˜‰ Sounds yummy!

  18. Leslie

    Oh..I feel a bit tipsy just looking at these!!! πŸ˜‰ Yum

  19. mjskit

    I love cooking up dried beans. They are so much better than canned! This is a great looking recipe!

  20. Curt

    What an awesome idea. You could eat a bowl of that at the bar and kill dinner and drinks in one serving!

  21. Donna

    Sounds so delicious! This is definitely on my to try list.

  22. Gloria

    Looks awesome! Will it work the same with black beans?? THanks!

  23. Anonymous

    How many servings does it make? We want to cook this for a group πŸ™‚

  24. Anonymous

    These are the BEST beans!! Go rave reviews. Thanks for the recipe. As printed this fed 4 adults as a side dish. I will definitely double next time to have leftovers!

  25. Sam

    I have a toddler. Would it work to use tequila but let the alcohol cool out of it?

    • Kathleen

      I would probably make the recipe and remove the toddlers portion when you finish step 2. Then add the tequila as in step 3 to the batch that the toddler does not eat! Cilantro to both batches. πŸ™‚

  26. Toby Garcia

    Since most of the comments are related to the look, I figured another that addressed the taste would be helpful.

    My mother told me to soak beans overnight (like all good southern men, I listen to my mom) so these beans may be softer than the ones prescribed above . I followed the recipe step for step with a few alterations. I added a serrano pepper, ~2tsp of cumin, bell peppers, and opted for extra bacon instead of ham.

    The beans were, obviously, a bit spicy but that’s how I like them. My grandmother, a Spanish chef if there ever was one, swears by the sanctity of limes, so I squeezed some over the top and the flavor was phenomenal. This really is a fantastic recipe and I appreciate Kathleen and Rick Bayless for making it accessible to the public.

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  28. Angela

    I made this recipe yesterday & it was so yummy! All the flavors came together so nicely. It was a little soupy, but, that was ok & worked great with the cornbread to sop it up.

    • Kathleen

      Hi Angela. So glad you enjoyed πŸ™‚

  29. Kam

    Question: Do you cook the bacon first before adding to the beans?

    • Kathleen

      Hi Kam. No I don’t cook it ahead of time.

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