I've always said that I could live off beans for the rest of my life. These charro beans are my ultimate "last meal." In Texas, charro beans, also known as "cowboy beans," can be found in just about every Tex-Mex joint, served in little bowls alongside your meal. There are many, many different versions of this recipe, but this is my own take on charro beans.
Start with a Big Batch of Slow Cooker Beans
The base of this dish is frijoles de la olla, a five-ingredient recipe for saucy, creamy pinto beans. Make a big batch over the weekend, then use them in a variety of ways throughout the week, such as turning them into these charro beans, stewing them down into refried beans, or serving them simply with a side of rice.
Slow Cooker Charro Beans
Serves 8 to 10 as a meal
recipe frijoles de la olla
fully cooked sausage, thinly sliced
medium yellow onion, diced
2 to 3
serrano peppers, thinly sliced (optional)
garlic, finely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
Chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems, for garnish
Prepare the frijoles de la olla.
When the frijoles are almost done, heat a large skillet over medium-high. Add the bacon and cook until browned and crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a large paper towel-lined plate to drain; set aside.
Taking care not to crowd the pan and working in batches if needed, add the sausage to the bacon fat and cook until it crisps slightly, about 2 minutes. Using the slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to the plate of bacon and set aside.
Add the onion to the pan and cook, stirring constantly to release the brown bits from the pan, for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, serranos if using, and garlic, and cook for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and season with the salt and pepper. Transfer the onion mixture to the slow cooker with the beans.
Add the reserved bacon and sausage and stir to combine. Taste and season with salt and black pepper if needed. Set the slow cooker on the warm setting. Serve the charro beans warm, topped with the cilantro.
Storage: The beans can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 2 months.
Reprinted with permission from The Tex-Mex Slow Cooker: 100 Delicious Recipes for Easy Everyday Meals by Vianney Rodriguez. Copyright © 2018 by Countryman Press. Photographs copyright © 2018 by Jason David Page.