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  • 2 pounds of pinto beans (raw & uncooked)
  • 2-5 jalapeño peppers (finely chopped)
  • 1 poblano pepper (finely chopped)
  • 2 medium white onions (finely chopped)
  • 4-6 large garlic cloves (finely chopped)
  • 1 bay leaf (dried)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
  • 1 bone-in ham (you’ll need the hambone with meat still attached and some separate chunks of meat)
  • 1 can of Guinness beer (This is what makes the recipe a “wee” bit Irish.)
  • ½ tablespoon ancho chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • Enough water (or chicken broth) to cover the beans by 2 inches.  
  • 1 lime
  • OPTIONAL: 1 cup of chopped cilantro


  1. Heat a large pot on medium-high and sauté the onions and peppers with a pinch of salt for 8-12 minutes.  (You want the onions to be translucent and fragrant.)
  2. Add the garlic and sauté for 1-2 additional minutes. (Constantly stir to garlic to avoid burning it.)
  3. Add the ham bone and chunks of ham, and sauté everything for a few minutes more.
  4. Put the beans (rinsed and sorted) in the pot and add enough water (or broth) to cover them by 2 inches. (NOTE: You might need to add more water as you cook to keep the beans covered.)
  5. Add the bay leaf and some salt and pepper.
  6. Bring beans to a moderate boil and then lower the heat to a simmer. 
  7. Cook beans for 1 hour, then add the can of Guinness beet, vinegar, and the juice of the lime.
  8. Cook an additional 1-3 hours (stirring occasionally), or until the beans are tender all the way through.
  9. Salt to taste.
  10. Remove the bay leaf from the pot before serving.
  11. OPTIONAL: Add a cup of chopped cilantro before serving.
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