Instant Pot Drunken Beans (Frijoles Borrachos) have beer as part of the liquid, but they don’t taste like alcohol. A savory blend of beans, bacon, spices, cilantro, and yes, a little beer! Make these from dry pinto beans in close to an hour.
Instant Pot Drunken Beans
We are eating a lot more beans these days. I used to forget to soak them overnight, and didn’t want to hassle with them. Two years ago, when I got my Instant Pot, I learned in our Facebook group that you could cook the beans from dry in under an hour! What?! Game changer. And sign me up! So that started me on a path to make all kinds of bean dishes.
I mean, a meal from unsoaked beans in close to an hour? Yes please!
These Instant Pot Drunken Beans (Frijoles Borrachos) have a lot of flavor, and traditionally are made with bacon, beer, spices, and cilantro. They are wonderful as a side dish, or as the main course. We like to have them over rice or cornbread, or on their own, piled with toppings. Or not. Sometimes I don’t want toppings, and just want to enjoy the beans and their rich broth. And though the broth has a bottle of beer in it, it does not taste like alcohol, or like beer.
The dark Mexican beer has a smoky note to it, and I think that transfers to the beans quite nicely, and makes them even more tasty! Plays off well against the cilantro, and compliments the bacon.
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Instant Pot Drunken Beans, Frijoles Borrachos, have beer as part of the liquid, but they don't taste like alcohol. A savory blend of beans, bacon, spices, cilantro, and a little beer!
- 3/4 lb Bacon (chopped small)
- 1 Large Yellow Onion (diced)
- 1/2 Green Bell Pepper (diced)
- 1 Red Bell Pepper (diced)
- 1 Pasilla Chile Pepper (chopped) or Hatch Chile, etc
- 1 Jalapeño Pepper (seeded and diced)
- 5 Garlic Cloves (pressed or minced)
- (1) 14 oz can Diced Tomatoes (with juices)
- 1 Tbsp Chili Powder
- 1 Tbsp Cumin
- 2 tsp Mexican Oregano (or 1 tsp regular oregano)
- 2 tsp Kosher Salt (or 1 tsp table salt)
- 1 12 oz Beer (Mexican dark or a Lager) or just more broth if you don't want the beer.
- 3 1/2 cups Chicken Broth* (low sodium)
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 1 Bundle of Cilantro Stems (tied with butcher's string for easy removal)
- 1 lb Dry Pinto Beans** (rinsed and sorted) or 2 cans of prepared pinto beans
- 1/2 cup Cilantro Leaves (chopped)
- Reserved Cooked Bacon
- Sour Cream
- More Cilantro
- Cotija Cheese
Set the Instant Pot to the Sauté mode. When the display reads "Hot" add the bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just turning crisp. Remove from pot and set aside. Discard all but 2 Tbsp of the bacon fat.
Add the onion to the bacon fat and stir. Cook until it starts to turn translucent, scraping the bottom of the pot.
Add the green pepper, red pepper, pasilla, and jalapeño. Stir well.
Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.
Add the tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and salt. Stir well.
Add the beer, broth, bay leaves, cilantro stems bundle, and the beans. Stir well.
Add 3/4 of the cooked bacon back in, reserving 1/4 of it for garnishing. Stir.
Place the lid on the pot and lock it in place. Set the steam release knob to the Sealing position.
Turn off the Sauté mode and press the Beans button (or Manual, or Pressure Cook) and then the + or - to choose 40 minutes.
When the cook cycle ends, let the pot naturally release the pressure for 20 minutes (or longer is okay). Then manually release the remaining steam by turning the steam release knob to Venting.
When the pin in the lid drops, open the pot and stir the beans. Discard the bay leaves and the cilantro stems bundle.
Stir in the 1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves.
Taste and adjust salt, if necessary.
Garnish as desired and serve. Drunken beans are great over rice or corn bread!
*If you do soak your beans overnight, cut the cook time to 22 minutes, and reduce the broth to 2 1/2 cups.
**You can use canned pinto beans. Cut the cook time to 10 minutes, and reduce the broth to 2 cups.
The cilantro stems bundle is an idea I saw on America's Test Kitchen. They have many great cooking and kitchen equipment tips!
RESOURCES TO MAKE Instant Pot Drunken Beans (Frijoles Borrachos)
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