Vegan Borracho Beans (Drunken Beans)

The best way we know of cooking pinto beans

Vegan Borracho Beans

I'm always looking for different ways to cook pinto beans, because I adore them, and I loved the idea of drunken beans! (btw, the alcohol cooks away, but the beer taste lingers.)

The result was layers of delicious flavors in a simple & adaptable pinto bean recipe. Most of the many ingredients in borracho beans are spices and other flavorings.

Borracho Beans featured on SV Blog, as one of 10 High Protein Vegan Recipes!

Total prep & cook time: 75 min

4 Large Servings

Nutrition Data Per Serving: 259 Cal, 5g Fat, 33mg Sodium, 42g Carbs, 12g fiber, 7g Sugars, 12g Protein, low cholesterol & sodium, good source fiber, Vit C, Folate, Manganese, Estimated Glycemic Load 10

Cooking Pinto Beans:

  • Rinse 1 cup dried pinto beans and soak in cold water for 6 to 12 hours
  • Quick Soak: Bring the beans to a boil, remove from heat, cover and soak for 2 hours
  • Drain and rinse the beans
  • Stove Top: Add cold water to cover, bring to a boil, skim the foam, cover and simmer until soft, approximately 1 hour
  • Slow Cooker: After bringing the beans to a boil and skimming the foam, drain the beans, and place in the slowcooker. Add cold water to cover, replace the lid and cook on low for 8 hours
  • To use in this recipe, drain beans in a colander or seive over a large container, and reserve the cooking liquid
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  • 2 1/2 - 3 cups cooked pinto beans
  • Note: If using canned beans, use the liquid too
  • 1 cup Mexican beer (or any strong or dark beer)
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup bean cooking liquid or water
  • 1 unsalted vegan bouillon cube
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp light molasses
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp seeded & minced jalapeno pepper
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1/2 bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 pinch - 1/2 tsp chipotle pepper (remember, it's potent!)
  • 1 tsp gr. coriander
  • 1 tsp gr. cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano leaf
  • Salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
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Recipe Directions:

  1. In a large saucepan, combine the beans, beer, tomatoes, bean liquid, bouillon cube, liquid smoke, balsamic vinegar, light molasses and bay leaf
  2. Heat on medium
  3. Heat the oil on med-low in a fry pan
  4. Add the onion and stir fry until it's soft and transparent
  5. Add the garlic, jalapeno and bell pepper - stir fry 5 minutes
  6. Add the dry spices and heat for 2 minutes
  7. Add the contents of the fry pan to the beans, rinsing with a little water to get all the good stuff on the bottom of the pan
  8. Cover and cook the beans for 1 hour, stirring occasionally
  9. The beans will absorb liquid as they cook - add water as needed for desired consistency
  10. Add the dry spices and heat for 2 minutes
  11. Taste and add salt & pepper if needed
  12. Serve with: Chopped minced fresh cilantro, lime wedges, sour cream
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Recipe Tips:

Fresh raw plum tomatoes would have been ideal, but February tomatoes in the midwest aren't worth buying. I used organic crushed tomatoes instead, which was faster & easier - no peeling, seeding, or chopping.

I cooked my own pinto beans because it's easy and I like to make extra to freeze for future meals. 1 cup of dried beans turned into about 2 1/2 cups of cooked beans, about the same as 2 cans of beans.

If you'd like hotter beans, just up the amount of chipotle pepper. If you're short on time, use dried onion & garlic granules, and canned jalapenos - not the same as fresh, but close enough.

Traditional non-veg boraccho beans include bacon. For this vegan version, liquid smoke, balsamic vinegar, and molasses did the trick - no bacon necessary! I stuck with easy to find ingredients stocked by our local grocery, which didn't include epazote sprigs, borracho bean flavoring, or jalapeno bacon salt.

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My husband loved this drunken bean recipe - and he is not a beer, bean, tomato or spicy food kind of guy.

We ate our borracho beans over brown rice with a green salad - perfect! It's also great in a bowl by itself with tortillas or crackers, or in a burrito or wrap, or the old beans on toast trick. The possibilities are endless.

Since not all children like hot hot foods, try serving hot sauce at the table for the grownups, instead of amping up the heat in the beans.

A squirt of lime juice & chopped cilantro are tasty garnishes. Sour cream works too - vegan versions are widely available.

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