May 26th, 2011
Jenny’s Beans A La Charra

I’ll admit it. I love beans! I am a Mexican after all. In elementary school, a friend and I would ask for beans when they were served at the cafeteria. But we were so ashamed of liking beans that we would cover them up with a paper napkin so no one else would see.

I am obviously more confident about my love of beans now than I was then. I guess this bean confidence comes with age. Luckily, I didn’t have to be ashamed of the beans my father would cook at home because no one was there to see.

Every so often — usually on a Sunday and usually when the Dallas Cowboys were playing- he would set a pot of beans a la charra to cook on the stove. It took a couple of hours but I could tell it was getting closer to serving time the more fragrant the air was. He has decided to share that recipe with me so I can share with my readers! Enjoy!


  • 1 pound pinto beans
  • 1 pound salt pork cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 medium onions
  • 10 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 pound bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium tomato, dice
  • 1 small batch cilantro, chopped


  • Put the beans in a medium strainer and rinse until the water runs clear.
  • Add 5 quarts of water to an 8-quart pot.
  • Add the rinsed beans and salt pork.
  • Peel and slice an onion into 6 thick pieces.
  • Place the onions and garlic in a lingerie bag and tie a knot.
  • Add the bag to the pot.
  • Bring the pot to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and cover.
  • Cook beans until done, about 2 hours and 10 minutes.
  • Once the beans are cooked, remove them from the heat.
  • Remove the lingerie bag and discard. (My father uses a lingerie bag but any fine mesh bag will do.)
  • Peel and dice the remaining onion.
  • In a medium frying pan, fry the bacon to your liking and then remove from pan.
  • Leave the bacon fat in the pan and add the tomato and onion and fry for about 2 minutes.
  • Pour the tomato and onion mixture into bean pot and add the bacon.
  • Add the cilantro to the pot and mix everything together.

Source: Roberto Martinez

Follow Jenny on Twitter @jgurl82

[Photo By adactio]

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