{recipe} Steve-O’s Beer Beans

The other night I made a big batch of carnitas for some family and friends. Of course, you have to have beans on the side, and no one makes better Mexican beans than my brother-in-law Steve-O. He was kind enough to walk me through the process. Since then I have adapted and changed them to my liking.

There are some reasons these taste better than regular beans. One reason is the beer. Another is the method of adding a whole bunch of liquid and then cooking the s*** out of them so all the liquid reduces back into the beans to flavor them.

Steve-O’s Beer Beans


  • 2 T lard or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 large onion or 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 cans beans (pinto or black, or a combo)
  • 1 can or bottle of beer- the yeasty ones are good, or use Mexican beer since you’ll probably be drinking it with your meal anyway
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 1 or 2 envelopes of Caldo de Pollo, or some chicken broth concentrate (they have a new product at Whole Foods called “savory choice liquid concentrate chicken stock” that is my favorite. Steve uses the Caldo de Pollo from the Mexican foods aisle. You can use bouillion cubes if you must.)
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • In a large saucepan (preferably nonstick), heat the lard or oil over medium high heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook over medium heat until soft and aromatic.
  • Add the beans with their liquid and stir. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring. With a potato masher, smash up about half the beans.
  • Add the beer, chicken broth, and Caldo de Pollo to the mixture. It should be pretty liquidy.
  • Cook over medium low heat, stirring and scraping the sides, until the liquid has reduced and the beans are the consistency of refried beans.
  • Taste and add salt and pepper and/or more Caldo de Pollo if necessary and cook, stirring, until deliciousness ensues.
  • Go ahead, try and take an attractive picture. YOU CAN’T.
  • These will keep for a couple of days in the fridge and can be made ahead.
  • To make this vegetarian/vegan, substitute vegetable broth or mushroom broth for the chicken broth and caldo de pollo.

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2 Responses

  1. karen says:

    How sacrilegious using beans out of a can. The deceased Mexicans are turning over in their graves. Doesnt quite have the same authentic flavor and making your own beans and much cheaper. If your going to go to the Mexican market for the Caldo de Pollo you might want to pick up a couple pounds of pinto beans. sounds good tho..

    • Karen says:

      @wilddreams5 – I’ll be honest with you, I’ve tried dried beans and I don’t think it tastes better despite it taking more time. So I apologize to all those I offend with the sentiment but that’s my feeling. 🙂