Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Drunken Beans

We prefer a dark Mexican beer, such as Negro Modelo, but any lager or ale will work in this recipe. Andouille sausage may be substituted for the chorizo. Make sure to soak the beans overnight in water to cover.

Serves 4 to 6

8 ounces chorizo sausage, cut into ½-inch pieces

1 onion, chopped fine

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 pound pinto beans, soaked overnight and drained

1 (12-ounce) bottle dark Mexican beer (see note)

5 cups water

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 teaspoons minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce


2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1 tablespoon lime juice

1. Cook sausage in Dutch oven over medium heat until browned, about 8 minutes; transfer to paper towel–lined plate. Cook onion in sausage fat until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, oregano, and chili powder and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add beans, beer, and water and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until beans are just soft, about 1 hour.

2. Stir in sugar, chipotle, and 1 teaspoon salt. Continue to simmer, uncovered, until beans are completely tender and sauce is slightly thickened, about 50 minutes. Return sausage to pot and simmer until sausage is tender, about 10 minutes. (If mixture becomes too thick, add water.) Stir in cilantro and lime juice and season with salt. Serve. (Beans can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 4 days.)

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit