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
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