Yield: 5 cups






1 pound dried pinto beans


Cold water


¼ of a large yellow onion.


1 dried guajillo chili pepper


1 large garlic clove


1/4 cup bacon drippings, lard, or olive oil (vegan or vegetarian option)


¼ – ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, to taste




Garnish Suggestions:


Crumbled bacon


Crumbled Cotija cheese


Crumbled Queso Fresco cheese


Snipped cilantro






Rinse dried beans.


Pick through beans for any rocks or debris which should be discarded.


Place beans in a large sauce pan or stock pot.


Add cold water until it is 2 inches above the beans.


Peel the onion.


Cut a wedge (approximately ¼ of a large onion) that would equal approximately ½ cup of chopped onion. Do not separate layers. Place with beans.


Peel the garlic. Place it on a cutting board. Cover with a broad blade knife with the blade horizontal to the cutting board. Smack the blade to crack the garlic open. Place clove in pot with the beans. Remove the seeds and stem from the dried guajillo pepper. Add pepper to pot.


Bring the bean mixture to a boil.


Cover and simmer until tender, stirring occasionally. Depending on the level of heat, this can take 90-120 minutes.


When the bean are tender, reserve one cup of the bean liquid, drain off the rest.


Discard the onion, chili pepper and garlic.


Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add chosen fat or oil.


When the oil or fat shimmers, add beans.


Fry for 5 minutes, flipping the beans occasionally with a spatula.


Mash beans with a potato masher. If necessary, add reserved bean water until beans reach the desired consistency.


Season with salt and black pepper.


Serve with desired garnish.