Main dishes/

Pork and Black Bean Dinner

Frijol con Puerco


  • 4tablespoons vegetable oil, olive oil, bacon drippings or fresh-rendered pork lard (divided use)
  • 1 1/2pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes and trimmed of extraneous fat
  • 1pound (about 2 ¼ cups) dry black beans, picked over to remove any stones or debris
  • 2medium white onions, chopped into ½-inch pieces (divided use)
  • Abig sprig ofepazote, (if I have it)
  • 128-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice, preferably fire-roasted, undrained
  • 2fresh hot green chile (such as serrano or jalapeño), stemmed and roughly chopped into small pieces (in Yucatan, they’d use ½ to 1 habanero).
  • 1largeripe avocado, pitted, flesh scooped from the skin and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • A handful of cilantro leaves
  • A handful of sliced radishes


To ensure that the dish has the richest taste, first brown the pork.  In a very large (12-inch) skillet or the removable, stove-top-safe insert to a slow-cooker, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil or pork lard over medium-high.  When hot, add pork shoulder in a single, uncrowded layer.  Sprinkle it generously with about a teaspoon of salt and, as the cubes brown,  turn them until they’re browned on all sides, about 10 minutes.  Either scrape the meat into the slow-cooker or transfer the slow-cooker insert to its base, then add 1 ½ quarts water, black beans, 1 of the white onions, and epazote.

Cover the slow cooker and turn it on to high. The beans and meat will be done in about 6 hours, though you can hold it for longer.  (My slow cooker can be programmed to switch from high after 6 hours to a keep-warm low temperature for another 6 hours. Some slow cookers click to keep-warm automatically; others need to be switched manually.)

(A quick parenthesis: If making this on the stovetop,  brown the pork in a 4-quart Dutch oven, then add 2 quarts water and the beans. Partially cover the pot and cook it at a simmer over medium-low for 2 ½ hours, stirring every half hour or so and adding more water when the liquid drops below the level of the beans.)

While the meat and beans are cooking, make the tomato-green chile sauce. In a very large (12-inch) skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil or lard over medium-high.  Add the remaining white onion and stir until it begins to brown. While the onion is cooking,  scoop the canned tomato into a blender and pulse it a few times until coarsely pureed. Pour the puree into the pan with the onions. Then add the serranosand cook, stirring regularly, until the mixture is thick enough that it will hold its shape in a spoon.

Season the sauce with salt (it usually takes a ½ teaspoon) and stir half the mixture into the beans.  Then season the meat and beans—it usually takes 1 ½ teaspoons more salt.

After a few minutes of simmering, the dish is ready to serve.  Ladle it into bowls, spoon a little of the remaining sauce on top and dot with avocado, cilantro, and radish.


  1. Hi! Love your show. I want to use chicken thighs in this dish-no pork. Could I cook all together on high 4 hours, oh! Maybe I should just take the plunge & try it.
    Okay, I will do it and let you know, thanks! PS, I did not realize Mexico has Heirloom beans, surely we do too. This is so interesting to me. Thanks!

    1. Hi Glo –
      My recommendation would be to cook the beans the same as the recipe calls for (low for 6 hours) but add the chicken about 2-3 hours in. Hope this helps!

  2. I’d like to translate this recipe to an oven braise. What temp? 275-325? Time would be about the same. My oven can be set for start time, temperature and duration.

    What do you think?

    1. I think 325 degrees and since we haven’t tested it I can’t give you a firm time – but my guess would be 2-3 hours. Hope that helps!

  3. Recipe sounds wonderful. It’s cooking now and my kitchen smells great. Question in the recipe above it appears to list 128-oz can on Tomatoes, but that amount in not fit in my large skillet. Should it be 1 – 28oz can? I definitely purchased and opened too much Tomatoes.

    Hope it’s as good as it smells.

    1. Hey Ron! That’s definitely one 28-ounce can, not a 128-ounce can. It’s a quirk of the recipe function of our website – we’re working on a solution.

  4. Can you substitute dry epazote for the fresh epazote sprig? If yes, how much dry should I add? Also, can I use beef instead of pork?

    1. Hello, you could substitute dry epazote and it usually equals the same amount as fresh epazote. You could use beef instead of pork, we don’t judge! 😉

  5. how about a video showing how to start and finshis this receipt it will give me a
    better idea of how to mix everything together and when . Thanks

  6. Hello I am from the Yucatan and your dish was doing so great until you changed the chard tomatoes for canned tomatoes. The best part of Frijol con puerco is the sauce this dish is cooked every Monday in almost every Yucatecan house and the sauce is what everybody wants and fight for. I understand is your take on the dish and I respect,that but it would be nice to mention the original version.

  7. Chef Bayless,
    thank you, so very much for this wonderful recipe.
    It sounds lovely! I’m ready to start cooking.

  8. Wow… this is one of the tastiest dishes I think I’ve ever made, and it was so easy to pull off! I did take some culinary liberties to make a few changes…
    – Added extra 1.5 lb of pork shoulder
    – Seared pork with flamethrower!
    – Added big pinch of mexican oregano and coriander (1/2 tsp roughly)
    – Added very small pinch of clove (maybe a little under 1/8 tsp?)
    – Added 2 bay leaves
    – Subbed salt at the end of cooking for chicken base (about 2-3 tsp), also added a small amount of smoked salt, just to adjust and finalize a bit more at the very end
    – Just threw in all the cooked salsa at the end instead of garnishing with half

    Seriously, this was incredibly good – so rich and satisfying. The meat factor was on point for me… the spices and chicken base added complexity and flavor without overpowering anything… the salsa at the end blended in like a dream. My way may not be traditional, but my goodness, was it delicious. This recipe is now definitely one of my go-to’s. Thanks, Rick!

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