Drunken Beans

I have seen recipes for drunken beans for years. These are hearty beans, cooked with bacon and beer. With those three B’s, can you go wrong? Recently I found a beer in the back recesses of my refrigerator leftover from summer that really should be used. I had some dried Soldier beans in the cupboard. So I thought this recipe would be a perfect solution to use up what I have on hand!

I consulted a couple of recipes to see what ingredients they used and both were different, so I chose to create my own. I wanted the beans to be rich and creamy, I’m not one for hard beans in a little bit of sauce. Upon mixing all the ingredients together, I was skeptical, things weren’t blending the way I wanted, but after letting the pot simmer on the stove for about ten minutes as I prepared the rest of the meal, that’s all it needed. I took a corn tortilla and warmed it with a little bit of cheese, sliced a little bit of avocado for the side, and sprinkled a little fresh lime on the top of everything. This was easy, inexpensive, and you’ll have half a beer left over to drink with dinner! This made enough for leftovers, so I had a little bit warmed with some scrambled eggs the next morning. Delicious!

I think you could use canned beans if you choose, but I would select a heartier bean, like a kidney, pinto, etc., any you would use in a chili or with Mexican cooking. For a vegetarian version, omit the bacon, or use a vegetarian substitute (although the flavor may not be the same). I found my jalapeno wasn’t spicy enough for my liking, so I added a tiny dash of cayenne and that made it perfect. Of course, that’s optional. I also had some mushrooms that needed to be used, so I quartered them and tossed them in. That’s optional, too, as is the topping of scallions.


Drunken Beans
2-3 cups hearty beans, cooked (Cook’s note: I soaked my Soldier beans overnight, and cooked them up a few days early.)
• 1 bottle of beer
• 2 slices of bacon, diced
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 small onion, diced
• 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
• ½ cup mushrooms, quartered (optional)
• Dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
• Sliced scallions (optional)
• Salt to taste

1. In a saucepan, add the beans and about half a bottle of beer. Let them sit on warm heat. You want to make sure the beans are just about covered with the beer, if not, add a little more.

2. Heat a non-stick skillet, add the diced bacon and cook until done. Remove the bacon from the pan and place in a bowl, drain the bacon grease and leave a couple of teaspoons in the pan. Add the garlic and onion, cook until soft.

3. Add the jalapeno and mushrooms, if using, to the garlic and onion. Cook until soft.

4. When completely cooked, add the garlic, onion, jalapeno, mushrooms, and bacon to the bean pot. Stir to combine and cook for about 10 minutes or so, or until the beans start to break. Serve with warm corn tortillas and sliced avocado, if desired. Top with the squirt of fresh lime juice.

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