Written by Diana of A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa.
I am so excited to be here at Simple Bites sharing my family’s traditional Spanish and Mexican recipes. My hope is that you will be encouraged to try new flavors that are sure to spice up your life.
Since the weather outside is calling for dishes to warm our souls, I wanted to share with you one of my favorite Mexican bean recipes. Frijoles rancheros or Mexican ranch style beans.
They are easy to make and the flavors captured can’t be beat by anything you buy in a can.
These beans make a great side dish to enchiladas, tacos or anything you can come up with. However, what I love about these beans is that you can add a brisket or ham hock to the cooking beans and have a complete meal in a pot.
Shred the meat, warm up some tortillas and you’ll have a quick and easy meal of authentic Mexican tacos and beans.
Photo by Diana
Don’t forget to add a quick and easy homemade salsa verde and your neighbors will start lining up at your door.
Recipe: Frijoles Rancheros, Mexican Ranch Style Beans
For this recipe I used an heirloom variety of beans called Good Mother Stallard.
Photo by Diana
They are a meaty and creamy bean that taste wonderful eaten alone. A great substitute is the traditional pinto bean.
- 2 cups dried pinto beans or any other variety dense meaty bean
- 1 onion, diced
- 4-5 pieces bacon, sliced
- 1/2 cup, packed, cilantro
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 ham hock or brisket (optional)
- Salt to taste
1. Soak 2 cups beans overnight. (Make sure to rinse your beans and rid of any dirt or small pebbles)
2. The next day, drain the beans and rinse.
3. In a thick bottomed pot or cast iron dutch oven, add the beans, onions and optional ham hock or brisket.
4. Add enough water to the pot to cover the beans by 2 inches. Add salt to taste.
5. Bring to a boil.
6. Cover and drop the heat to low for 2 to 3 hours or until the beans are soft and the meat is tender and cooked through. Throughout the cooking time, make sure to check the beans and add more water if necessary.
7. With about a half hour left of cooking time you can begin to cook down the remaining flavors of bacon, garlic and cilantro.
Photo by Diana
8. In a pan or cast iron skillet, add the sliced bacon and cook until most of its fat has been rendered. There is no need to brown the bacon.
9. Once most of the fat has been rendered add the garlic and cilantro and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
10. Add all of the contents in the pan to the pot of beans and simmer for an additional 15 minutes to infuse the flavors.
11. If you added pork or brisket, remove from the beans, shred and set aside for tacos.
12. Serve the beans in a bowl topped with freshly grated Queso Fresco, or any other soft cheese, and cilantro.
This recipe does cook slowly, however, it’s simple and sure to please the pickiest of eaters.
Beans are comfort food in Mexico. What is your comfort food during the winter months?