They might be 'dirty beans' but they taste delicious
In Enrique Olvera’s new book, you get great Mexican recipes, and also some of the wordplay behind them
In Enrique Olvera’s new book, Tu Casa Mi Casa, you get an insider's view of cookery south of the border. Subtitled Mexican Recipes for the Home Cook, it has authentic recipes, from tacos to ice-pops, but the chef and author also fills in a few of the linguistic and cultural details round the dishes, to offer added guidance, both inside the kitchen and out.
Take a simple dish of Northern Beans, also known as frijoles charros or frijoles puercos, a onepot of pork, vegetables and pulses.
“The two names in Spanish for this recipe tell us a lot about these beans,” writes Olvera. “A charro is cowboy, making us think these beans were a onepot meal eaten over a fire out in the country.
“Puerco refers to one of the main ingredients, pork,” he explains. “But it is also a play on words, since puerco can also mean “dirty.” The translation to “dirty beans” comes from all the additional ingredients that are added to the recipe. You can add any pork products: pork shoulder, bacon, sausage, or even pigs’ feet, like in this recipe.”
Make sure they’re clean, of course; you don’t want to take that pun too far. For the full recipe, as well as much more besides, order a copy of Tu Casa Mi Casa here.