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Pati's Mexican Table : TV Recipes

Pati Jinich cowboy charro beans

Frijoles Charros con Tocino y Chorizo
Serves 6

6 oz sliced uncooked bacon, chopped
8 oz fresh, uncooked Mexican chorizo, casings removed, chopped
1/2 cup white onion, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper (seeded if desired), finely chopped, more or less to taste
1/2 lb roma tomatoes, about 2 to 3 tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp kosher or sea salt, plus more as needed
5 cups cooked pinto beans and their cooking liquid (or substitute with black or Peruvian beans)

Cook the bacon in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes, until it is lightly browned and starting to crisp. Add the chopped chorizo; cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until it starts to brown and crisp. As it cooks, use a wooden spoon or spatula to break it into smaller pieces.

Add the chopped onion and jalapeño; mix well and cook for 1 or 2 more minutes, letting them soften a bit. Add the tomatoes and mix well; cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring, until the tomatoes soften and appear mushy.

Add the cooked beans and their cooking liquid; mix well and reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until the beans are moist but not soupy. Add a bit more water if needed. Taste, and add more salt to your taste. Serve hot.


Thanks to Patricia Jinich for the lovely recipes of my Childhood. I did not grow up in Mexico, but my father did and I had an Aunt Catita who lived in Mexico City and when we visited she shared so much of her Mexican culture with us, including her recipes. I added bell pepper to this recipt since my husband likes that in his beans, but over all, this was a huge hit at my house. I live in east Texas where there are lots of texmex recipes floating around but this beat any bean recipe that I found. I do not like texmex cooking, I am a fan of the very familiar and flavorful true Mexican cooking that I grew up eathing. Thanks Ms. Jinich!!!

Of course! Send me along any cravings that you have…

Hi Pati,
I came across your show on PBS. Being a lover of Latino Culture and food, (Especially Mexican!) I immediately fell in love with your show and recipes! I love how you give history along with the recipes. It brings a new depth to what you are eating and also gives the recipient an appreciation for what they are eating. Just wanted to express my gratitude! I am anxious to cook these meals and try them for myself!

Hi Rob, well many thanks and you are most welcome!!!

Hi Pati
I didn’t see this particular episode but the ingredients (and the picture – love your pictures) sounds amazing. I’m looking forward to trying this out. Yum!!!

Thanks Toni… this is a tasty dish. Thank you for the comment on the photos: You must know, it takes me like 100 tries until I do take an acceptable photo ; )

Hi Pati,
Just saw your show for the first time on PBS and LOVED it! Your recipes look simple, affordable and flavorful so I am very excited to try some of your recipes soon.
DVR is setup to record your show every week :)!
Thank you,

Thank YOU!!

hi patti. just saw your show on pbs. loved it. i have been searching for a recipe like this. will try today!

I watched your show on pbs. Love love love it. I am always looking for authentic mexican food recipes. Thanks for sharing and teaching.

Thanks Donna! Glad to hear you are enjoying the recipes!

hello Pati-
I just watched your episode about tomatillos. Loved it! It was also the first episode I’d ever seen. I love your enthusiasm about the food.
Cant wait to record more episodes!!

tried the charro beans and my family loved it. My daughter even asked for the recipe so she can make it at home for her family. Again thanks. Donna

This episode on
Revolution recipes just finished and I had to run to the computer to save to the favs, your .com addy.
I love beans ,cornbread ,all kinds of peppers sweet or with heat and my palate for food was emersed in country cooking from the south.I like beans prepared in any way I and I love corn. Anise cookies dipped in dark chocolate is my fav cookie in the world.You riled me up and I am putting the pintos on now to cook and try out the Charro beans’ they sound delicious!I will make all the recipes you did on this episode as they are super healthy foods and my favorites.Looking forward to your tutelage in Mexican cooking’.Now that I have your web site I will try all of your recipes.I love to cook ahead sometimes and I share meals with my next door neighbor , so this will be something exciting to look forward to.She will prolly take some of the food down to Greek-town Casino, in Detroit and share with the chef there. She has done that to me before with my various bean dishes .Black bean brownines went Talk about good have quite a wonderful show and I enjoyed your presence in your kitchen, you made it look simple and you seduced my appetite with the scintilating recipes.Take care for now Pati. Your friend , Devora

Apparently.. We CAN-NOT say enough!!! About You & Your Show! Oh Goodness.. Pleeze keep the Recipe’s coming! and OH’ P.S. .. I Plan to Find,, and Buy,, your Book!! My 16 year old Daughter is/has been KICKING ME OUT OF THE KITCHEN!!! Soooo.. Thank You for THAT. TOOO. She is Totallly into Making Healthier Choices in Food!! She is an Artist.. And it seem’s to SPILL OVER,,, in Everything she TRIES!!! and Does Very Well!!! Right down to the Garnishing of Scallion’s, on top of her Dishes! OOOHH.. Thank You! It is JUST Hard to put into WORD’S,,, the Enthusiasm You have given Her to Get in the Kitchen,, and Give ANYTHING… a TRY!!! Loving It!! Ps.. We did have ONE,, “REALLY HOT” Batch of Pork Carnita’s.. LOL… Like I told her.. Trial & Error… Now Ya Know!
I hope their will be many more Season’s!!
Or PBS/CREATE CHANNEL.. Will have made A Bad Choice!! :* Ha Ha
Love,,, Your Vegas Girlzz, Paula & Chaise…

Awwwwwww, You Vegas girls!!! Thank you so much for your comments, for cooking the food and for your enthusiasm for my work. It just motivates me more ; )

Thank you so much for this recipe!! My husband lived in South Texas for a time and introduced me to REAL Mexican food that has slowly made its way to Alabama. He had come in off of a night shift and caught part of your show so only made part of the recipe which was still great (we have made it several times since seeing it)!!! I saw the whole show last night and cannot wait to try it out with ALL the ingredients!!! He left out the tomatoes, jalapeño, and cilantro. But after a 12 hour shift at midnight, and then remembering it the next day and making it for dinner…I’LL TAKE IT!! It was still delicious!! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!

Hola Suzanne, Please let me know how it goes! I am happy it was good, even without all the ingredients! Please write me if you have any questions. I’d love to help if I can :)

We tried it last night with ALL the ingredients, MUCH better!!! I like it because it is easy and we just about have all the ingredients in the house at one time every day. He just saw “Episode 104: Tomatillos” and Tomatillo and Lime Jam recipe so we are probably on our way to the farmers market this weekend!! Thank you so much for your show; we are also looking forward to trying Chilorio Burritas. I think I am going to put that one in the slow cooker while we are at the market. I even printed off the Cristina Potters’ Refried Beans, although I am at a loss as to where to get the beans (there are no Rancho Gordo’s anywhere close to here). I may work with pintos just to try it. Thanks again for all the great recipes!!!!

Tell me the best way to cook plain pinto beans. Most recipes say cooked pinto beans, but never give directions. I’ve tried several and they just aren’t soft and good. Thanks Pati. Love your show. Caught it today for the first time.

Muchas Gracias for this recipe! My mom always makes these beans (she is from Yahualica, Jalisco) and they are so good but she never knows exactly how much of what she uses, she always says “al tanteo”, and Im the kind of person that needs measurements…so thank you for your recipes. I have seen your show y me encanta!

Hola Isela, I grew up with everyone around me also cooking “al tanteo”!! So glad you like the show :)

Hi Pati! Just came across Paula Dean’s episode on Food Network with you as her guest! After watching, I instantly searched for you online and came across your website! I’m SO excited to start watching your show and plan to purchase your book! I can’t wait to start cooking and bring a little more FRESH REAL MEXICAN FOOD to South Dakota!! Thanks for all you do!

I’m so glad you found me Laura! Thank you so much for coming to my website. If you have any requests, be sure to let me know!

Finished making these beans today for lunch, this is the best high protein simple meal you can make for a family. I did use Mexican Chorizo. I am from Texas originally. I am currently living here in DC so I have tried Salvadorean Chorizo, Argentine Chorizo, Colombian Chorizo. These more closely resemble regular course sausage recipes, and lack flavor. Mexican Chorizo is hands down the best, and more closely follows the Spanish Recipe for Chorizo. If you have not tried Green Chorizo, originally from Toluca, Mexico…you are missing out.

You are so right about Mexican Chorizo Kevin…It is my favorite! I love the green chorizo from Toluca too!

Hi Pati
Just wondering, is there a link to the full episode or can you suggest a link to an article or website that explains more about food during the Mexican revolution? I am trying to write an essay about the role of food during the Mexican Revolution and it seems as if you know a lot about it.

I can’t find the recipe for your pinto beans!! Is there another link?

Hola Juan, Here is the link for how to cook pinto the beans!

this is so great. really like it!

Hi Pati,

I have all the ingredients to make your charro bean recipe except for dried pinto beans. But, I do have a couple of cans of the Goya pinto beans. Can I use those? (And if I do, will I have to make changes to the recipe?) Thanks in advance, love your show!

Hi Sheryl! Of course you can substitute for the Goya pinto beans and recipe goes exactly the same! As it calls for cooked beans, and the canned are already cooked. Taste for salt!


Thanks so much for answering my question. But, I do have another one (a quick one, and forgive me if it sounds dumb): your recipe calls for 5 cups of cooked pinto beans, plus their cooking liquid. So should I add the liquid that comes in the can of cooked beans? (And, if so, how much?) Or would it be better to use water (and if so, how much?) Thanks again, and I really love your show. (No offense to Rick Bayliss, but I really like your show much better.)


Sheryl, hi! Don’t use the liquid that comes in the can of beans. Drain and instead just use water…. Good to hear that you like my show!!! :)

I LOVE your show!!! I like it so much that even though it’s on twice a day, I usually watch it both times. (But how much water should I use with the 5 cups of canned beans, Pati? Sorry if these questions are dumb, but, as you can see, I’m not exactly Betty Crocker…)

I like watching your show when it comes on the Create channel and this recipe came on last night (1/19/2013) and I loved the recipe for the Cowboy “Charro” Beans and I can’t wait to make them. I hope to do this within the next two weeks or so. Thanks for all the great recipes and the memories that come along with them :) Thanks Pati!

Thank you Susan for watching!

Pati….your show is fantastic as are the recipes. My mother was an excellent cook, originally from Mazatlan, and the family always said she should have had a Mexican/French restaurant of her own. Your receipes bring back memories of lots of good home cooked meals. I have used many of them, which always turn out ‘deliciosos.’

Hola Carol, It’s sooo nice to hear the recipes remind you of your mother’s cooking. She sounds like a lovely woman!!

One of the few recipes I make without changing a single thing (aside from doubling or tripling the recipe). It looks good, tastes great and makes my whole house smell wonderful. I, a non-Mexican married to a Mexican woman, am now in charge of bringing beans to most of her family’s functions thanks to this dish!

Thanks a million! I’m a south Texas native who’s been transplanted to the island of Guam….never thought the thing I’d miss most is my aunts cooking and my dad’s foods from the family gatherings. These dishes help me have a little bit of home here on the island.

Thank you, Jaime! So happy you found my blog.

Pati I love your show and your website! I wish this was a long time ago when I was just married to my Mexican husband, we were living in his hometown in Aguascalientes. My family bought me “MEXICAN” cookbooks but they were not Authentic like what we ate down there and the kind of food you make..Que rico,So those books did not help me learn how to cook (good)Mexican food. We live in the states now but I like trying new recipes because we don’t go out to Mexican restaurants because it’s just not the same as food from “back home” and we can make more authentic food at home. Thank you so much!

Hi Megan, Thank you for your message! I’m so happy you like my recipes — I also have a cookbook:

Ive been looking for a good recipe sine i had some awesome beans in California. These were real good. I made a double batch and used 3 big Habaneros instead of the Jalapeno. I like a bit o heat. 3 habs were just right. Not to hot. (I use 3 habs in a batch of peanut butter cookies) I ahvealso made new England baked beans with Habs but they are lots different, but real good also.

Hola Barry, So happy you enjoyed the charro beans; thank you for making them! You have me wondering about those peanut butter cookies with habanero…

Que buenos frijoles. Felicidades!!!

Pati my husband has got me hooked on your show!! What is a good pairing with your Cowboy Charro Beans?

Anything!!! But this might be extra tasty: =)

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