This recipe for drunken beans was directly inspired by a recipe in Cook’s Illustrated, which somehow I had never read before last month. I’m now completely hooked on their combination of kitchen science and insanely thorough recipe testing. Andrew Janjigian took the concept of Mexican drunken beans, frijoles borrachos, and figured out the science behind making them taste fantastic without being boozy. The key lies in when you add the alcohol, and how you cook it off. It’s fascinating, check out the original piece in the January/February issue (subscription required).
I followed his instructions for an overnight soak, then cooking the beans in the oven to prevent them from breaking. Adding the alcohol in two stages provided excellent flavor with no booziness.
I needed to make them low-sodium, so I omitted the 3 tablespoons(!) of salt in the soaking wter. And gluten-free, so I needed gluten-free beer. Luckily, I happened upon the Mission Brewing booth at the Gluten-Free and Allergy-Friendly Expo, and one of the gals was nice enough to load me up with two bottles so I could try this recipe. While Mission is made with barley, somehow they remove the gluten from the barley during the brewing process, leading to a gluten-free beer that can acceptably labeled gluten-free. (I would investigate further if you are celiac.) I used their IPA in this recipe.
I skipped both the poblano chiles and the tomato paste in the original recipe, as I am temporarily avoiding nightshades. If you wish, stir in one can (6 oz) unsalted tomato paste with the beer. Vegans and vegetarians can skip the bacon. Top with coconut bacon if desired.
Required FTC disclosure:
I received two bottles of beer from Mission Brewing Company; I was not paid to write this post.
low-sodium, vegan/vegetarian diet (with change noted above), gluten-free, reduced-sugar diets