Growing up in the Rio Grande Valley, no carne asada (BBQ) is complete without some good pico de gallo y and charro beans. And since carne asadas and fiestas are bound to be kicking into high gear with Hispanic Heritage Month and football season around the corner, I decided I’d share both of our family recipes with you.
Why these two recipes? Because we use the same ingredients for both and since they complement each other, what better thing to do than to measure twice, cut once. The added advantage is that both can be made ahead of time, saving you valuable time on the day of the fiesta.
First I suggest you start by making your pot of beans. We’re a pinto bean family so that’s what we use to make our charro beans. But before you can make them charros, they need to cook for a couple of hours. Here’s a glimpse of everything you’ll need for both recipes.
For the beans I used 2 lbs of La Preferida pinto beans (which you can find at Big Lots), water, 1 1/2 tbsp of salt and 3 crushed garlic cloves. (Feel free to adjust ingredients to your taste level.)
Clean your beans – removing any broken/half pieces. Doing this always reminds me of doing this in our family kitchen.
Fill your soup/bean pot with water, allowing a 1″ – 1 1/2″ of space at the top so it doesn’t overflow when you add your beans.
Rinse your beans well and add them to your pot, along with the salt and crushed garlic cloves.
Allow the beans to cook over medium high heat, refilling the pot with water as needed to keep the beans from burning.
While the beans are cooking, you can begin working on the Pico de Gallo and the charro portion of the dish.
Pico De Gallo
For about 4 cups of pico de gallo you’ll need to finely dice:
- about 3 onion rings from a large onion
- 3 tomatoes
- 1/2 serano pepper
- 3/4 of a cilantro bunch
Once diced, combine in a medium bowl, add in the juice of a lime and salt & pepper to taste. (Feel free to adjust ingredients to your taste level.)
As your beans continue to cook, you’re ready to make the charro portion of your charro beans. For this you’ll need:
- 1 lb bacon
- 1 1/2 cups pico (Feel free to adjust ingredients to your taste level.)
Fry the bacon as you normally would. Don’t worry about having to keep it flat since you’ll be cutting it up into bits as you add it into your beans.
Add in 1 1/2 cups of pico to the bacon sauce pan and fry it until it’s cooked through.
Now it’s time to turn your attention back to your beans. You’ll know they’re ready when they turn brown and are soft enough to eat.
Depending on your needs, you can combine the bacon and fried pico into your fresh pot of beans or save all three for the day of your fiesta. If you decide to wait, you can add in your cooked beans and charro ingredients into a crock pot, on high, and allow them to simmer and get hot and ready for when your guests arrive. (Just make sure you on check in on them to make sure the beans are soft enough to eat, but not over cooked that they look like soupy refried beans.)
So delicious and super easy to make!