Recipe: Frijoles Borrachos (Drunken Beans)


1 onion
3 garlic cloves
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1-2 Tbsp. canned chiles
(1-2 anchovy fillets, optional)
2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. savory
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes or to taste
1 can refried beans and 2 cans pinto beans
1 cup beer
(lime, salt and/or hot pepper sauce to taste)


Peel and chop the onion and garlic. In mortar or food processor, combine onions, garlic, tomatoes and anchovies, if using, into a thick paste. Drain and rinse whole beans thoroughly.

Heat a heavy pan and add oil. Add cumin, savory and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant – less than a minute.

Add onion paste to hot fat and cook, stirring frequently, until it thickens and reduces by half. Carefully add beer – it will foam in an exciting fashion. Stir in beans and cook, stirring frequently, until thick.

Taste and add salt, lime juice and/or hot pepper sauce as desired. Serve with sour cream Chopped pickled jalapenos add a nice zing for those who like it hotter.


The anchovies add a depth of flavor, but no fishiness. For beer, any good light to medium brew will do – we like Lost Coast Downtown Brown in this. The adventurous might like Alaskan Smoked Porter instead.