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Border Pintos

6 to 8 Servings
Frijoles Fronterizos


  • 1 pound pinto beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 pound Mexican chorizo, casings removed, chopped
  • 1/2 pound thick sliced bacon, chopped
  • 1 ripe Roma tomato, cored and diced
  • 2 to 3 poblano chiles, charred, sweated, skin removed, cut into strips
  • 1 cup queso fresco, crumbled, for garnish

To Prepare

To cook the pintos:
  • Place rinsed pintos in a large pot, cover with 3 liters of water, drop in the onion half and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and keep at a constant simmer, covering partially with a lid, for an hour. Check the beans from time to time to make sure they are not drying out. If they are, add a couple cups of hot water. Once they are cooked and soft, and should be very soupy, add the salt, remove the onion, stir and set aside.
  • You may substitute for 2 15-ounce cans of already cooked pintos. Heat with 2 cups water, season with salt to taste and set aside.
To make the Border Pintos:
  • Heat the oil in an extended skillet or casserole over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the chorizo and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it has started to brown and has rendered its fat. Add the bacon, stir and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until it begins to brown. Add the tomato and poblanos, stir and cook for a couple minutes. Incorporate the cooked pintos and all their cooking broth, let them come to a simmer, then reduce to medium heat and cook for 7 to 8 minutes. Until the beans are nicely seasoned, all the flavors have come together, and you see some lovely puddles of red fat over the top. Turn off heat. Crumble the queso fresco over the top before serving.