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Instant Pot Frijoles Borrachos (Mexican Drunken Beans)


I get a craving for Frijoles Borrachos once in awhile. It's a specific combination of flavors I have not experienced anywhere else. The dish starts with the typical Mexican flavor profile but with some additions that take it to another level of deliciousness. Fresh bright vegetal flavors combined with earthy smoky bacon, ham, and beans creates a balance of comfort and sophistication needing nothing else. Enjoy.

You have two choices for cooking Instant Pot Frijoles Borrachos. If you want to use only your Instant Pot for cooking everything then you will sauté the meat and veggies and set them aside before cooking the beans. If you prefer to sauté the meat and veggies just before adding to the beans it will be easiest to use a skillet on a stovetop or a second Instant Pot. I wrote the recipe for the first option of using only your Instant Pot. Please comment below with any questions.


1 pound dry Mayocoba Beans or Pinto Beans (see note about using canned beans)

1/2 pound bacon, chopped

1 ham steak, cubed

1 onion, chopped - white is traditional but I like it with yellow or red, too

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp cumin

1 serrano or jalapeno chile pepper, minced (add more if you want it spicy)

4 cherry or Roma tomatoes, chopped (a can of Rotel can be substituted)


12 ounce Mexican Beer (I use gluten reduced Omission Lager)

7 ounce pickled jalapenos, undrained (optional)

1 cup chicken bone broth

1/2 to 1 bunch Cilantro

Fresh limes to squeeze

Sautéing tomatoes, peppers, and garlic for frijoles barrachos.

Directions for Frijoles Borrachos

Soaking beans is optional when you use an Instant Pot. I still do this step because I think the beans cook more evenly if they are soaked. Rinse and sort dry beans. Cover with 10 cups of water or at least 2 inches depth over beans. Soak 8 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse.

If you skip the soaking step then rinse, sort, and drain the beans.

*If you want to make this recipe using one pot then continue with recipe as written. If you prefer to cook the beans first and add the other ingredients directly after sautéing them then skip ahead to the directions for cooking the beans and come back here to cook the meat and veggies later. You can do this part in an Instant Pot or on the stovetop.*

For Meat and Veggies

Remove lid of Instant Pot, set to "Sauté", and place Rim-O over rim.

When display reads "HOT" add chopped bacon. Stir occasionally until bacon is fully cooked and some bacon grease is rendered.

Remove bacon leaving as much grease in the pot as possible.

Wait for pot to read "HOT" again. You may need to hit "sauté" again if it turns off.

Add cubed ham and stir occasionally until browned. Put browned ham aside with the cooked bacon.

Check that there is about 2 teaspoons of bacon grease in Instant Pot. You may need to remove some. Press "Sauté" again if needed. Wait for pot to read "HOT". 

Add chopped onion, minced garlic, and cumin. Stir for a few minutes. Add chopped tomatoes and minced serrano pepper. Sauté about 15 minutes until liquid reduces and thickens.

Add all contents of the Instant Pot to the ham and bacon. Cover and refrigerate.

If there is anything burnt onto the bottom of the instant Pot add a little water and scrape with a flat edged wooden spatula. Wipe out pot if desired or add to meat and veggies for flavor. 

To Cook Beans

Add beans to pot with 8 cups of water. Remove Rim-O, seal lid, and close vent. Set soaked beans for 15 minutes and unsoaked beans for 30 minutes high pressure. The "beans/chili" button is preset to 30 minutes so you may use that button for unsoaked beans. If cooking on stove top simmer covered for 90 minutes. 

After cooking, when pressure has released (naturally or controlled manually after 15 minutes) carefully open lid and replace Rim-O. Add in cooked meat and veggies. Pour in beer, bone broth, salt, and jalapenos if using. If it seems like too much liquid use less bone broth. Stir it all together. Using the "Sauté" function, simmer for 30 minutes or until heated through and beans are soft. Add cilantro and squeeze in lime juice then taste and add more seasoning as needed. 

Serve in bowls with more beer on the side if desired!





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