Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Sober Barrachos

Adapted from Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen

16 ounces dry pinto beans
8 ounces Mexican chorizo,crumbled
8 slices thick bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large white onion, cut into 1/4 inch dice
2 jalapenos, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
fresh ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro

Rinse the beans thoroughly and scoop into a dutch oven. Add about 8 cups of water (covering the beans by 1/2 inch), removing any beans that float. Ad the crumbled chorizo and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and very gently simmer, partially covered, until the beans are thoroughly tender, about 2 hours. You'll need to gently stir the beans regularly and add water as necessary to keep the liquid 1/2 inch above the level of the beans.

In a medium skillet, fry the bacon, stirring regularly, until crisp, about 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the bacon, leaving behind the drippings. Add the onions and chilies to the bacon grease and fry until deep golden brown, about 10 minutes. Scrape the onion mixture into the beans, then taste and season it all with salt and pepper. Continue simmering, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 30 minutes to blend the flavors.

If the beans seem quite soup, boil over medium high heat, stirring frequently, until the consistency of a nice brothy soup.

Just before serving, stir in the cilantro and serve in warm bowls topped with the crumbled bacon.

Makes about 8 cups of beans- serves 8 people as a main dish, about 12 as a side dish.

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