Tuesday, June 17, 2008

"Drunken" Pintos with Cilantro and Bacon

Mexican food with no beans? Difficult to imagine. My blog without beans? Difficult to imagine. I love beans. Not only are they cheap and delicious, they will be a staple of my month-long Mexi-centric cooking. This recipe is a variation of the slightly soupy Mexican pot beans but with extra flavoring. This recipe (crudely adapted) is from Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitche.


1.25 cups of dry pinto beans (yes, you can use other beans)
6 slices of bacon
1 small white onion, diced
1 jalapaneno, stemmed, seeded and sliced
2 tablespoons of tequila
1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro (or more to taste)

Pick through the beans and remove any stones or sticks. Rinse the beans and remove any which float. Add the beans to a large pot, throw in 4 slices of bacon and add enough water to cover the beans by an inch. Bring to a simmer and cook until the beans are soft. This will take a few hours so be patient. Make sure that the water is a good .5-1 inch above the beans at all times.

When the beans are done, set aside, cooking liquid and all. Throw out the boiled bacon unless that's what you're into.

Chop up the remaining two slices of bacon into bite sized bits and fry up in a hot pan. When brown and crispy, remove the bacon but leave the drippings in the pan. Toss in the onion and sliced jalapeno. Get a nice deep, dark brown on the vegetables. This will take some time. Be patient and don't turn up the heat to accelerate the process. Don't want to burn the onions/jalapeno, ya know.

When the veggies are well browned, add the beans back into the pan and simmer for 20 minutes. The beans shouldn't be soupy but rather thick and stew-like. If the beans are soupy, continue to simmer until the your ideal consistency is achieved. Alternatively, you can just mash up some of the bean with the back of a fork. Season with salt and pepper.

Toss in the tequila and cilantro. Garnish with the reserved crispy bacon. Done!

Time: 2 hours of initial simmering, 25 minutes after that.
Food cost- Pathetically inexpensive. Not worth talking about.


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