Mexican Beef with Beans

I often have leftover rice but the main dish has been eaten up.  I don’t think rice reheats very well but I have remade it into fried rice.  As I was getting ready for this week’s Sunday Supper I came across another use.  I’m making Frijol con Carne in honor of our upcoming vacation to the Caribbean.  Frijol con Puerco is a Yucatan dish that is widely eaten in Cozumel (one of the stops on our vacation).  Traditionally this soup is made with pork but after consulting a few friends who knew more about the region than I do, beef is an acceptable substitute.  A little research uncovers this dish is usually made on Monday’s because it’s an “easy dish”.  While I’m sure the best versions of this dish are prepared in homes, it is also found in cocina economia’s or small restaurants -usually only a few tables – which exist on nearly every corner. There is so much about this recipe that reminds me of Morocco.  I wrote awhile ago about Moroccan street breakfasts.  These small Mexican restaurants seem to be nearly the same concept!

This week’s theme for #SundaySupper is soup. As the final days (hopefully) of winter fade away it’s time to savor a few more pots of soup. This dish a thick soup, though you’ll see in this image it got a bit thicker than I wanted.  Blame that on me forgetting it on the stove while I did laundry.  I think the best thing about this dish is it works thick, like a stew, and it works in a thin broth. What I did notice is that this isn’t overwhelming with flavor.  Yes, it does have some flavor but where the really taste comes from is the condiments used on top of the dish.  If you have selective eaters this would be a great dish.  They can choose how they want to dress the main ingredients.



  • 1 1/4 cup black beans
  • 1 lb of beef in 1/2″ cubes
  • 1 lg onion diced
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • rice flour (or AP flour) for dredging
  • 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp crushed garlic (about 3 cloves)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 6 c water
  • 2 c beef stalk


  • 2 heaping teaspoons tomato paste or 2 fresh chopped tomatoes
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • handful of cilantro
  • 1-2 tsp olive oil
  • 3/4 c chopped onions
  • 1/2 jalapeno (optional)


  • lime or lemon wedges
  • sliced radishes
  • white rice
  • cilantro
  • chopped white onions

Preparing the Soup

**Note: Dry beans should be used for this recipe.  If possible soak them overnight.  If this is not possible, soak them as long as you can before cooking. The longer they soak the shorter the cooking time. 

In a large heavy bottomed pan add 2 Tbsp vegetable oil and heat to medium. While the oil is heating dredge the beef in the flour of your choice (using a gluten-free flour like rice flour is perfectly fine).  Mix in the onions and cook for 3-4 minutes until they begin to get translucent.  Add in the crushed garlic and a cook a few minutes longer.  As soon as it begins to change color, stir the beef cubes in with the onion and garlic.  The beef does not need to cook through, just to sear all of the sides.

Once the searing is complete, add the black beans, beef broth, and water. Stir well to combine. Season with the salt, pepper, cumin and cilantro. Stir once more, cover and reduce the heat to low. The length of cooking time will depend on how firm the beans were before adding them to the pot. Cooking this on a low temperature will also break down the beef so that it’s very tender. The average cooking time will be between 2 and 3 hours.  Be sure to check often and add more water if needed.  While the soup is cooking prepare the salsa and condiments.

Preparing the Salsa

I created a “pantry” salsa for this recipe.  Tomatoes are the base and if you have fresh tomatoes available use them! If you don’t, tomato paste was just as delicious.  This salsa can be prepared in a food processor or blender.  To make, simply combine the tomatoes (or tomato paste, onion, olive oil, garlic, cilantro and jalapeno.  Pulse until you have a salsa that is the consistency you like.  I prefer it smooth but you are free to leave it chunky. Refrigerate until ready to use.  It is best if you allow it to rest for an hour or more so that the flavors can really mix together.

Preparing the Condiments

This is the easy part!  If you have white rice leftover from another meal (or brown rice) use it up!  Slice radishes as thinly as possible. Quarter limes and lemons. Dice onions into small pieces. Wash and dry a bowl of cilantro.

Assembling the Frijol con Carne

This is a great dish to set up in a buffet style.  When the soup is at the consistency you like, the beans and meat cooked through you’re ready to serve. In a shallow bowl start with some rice, topping with a few ladles of soup. Dress it up with condiments and a dallop or two of salsa.

Frijol con Carne with Condiments

Can’t get enough soup?  The #SundaySupper crew has you covered with dozens to try this week! Check out all of the great dishes we’re sharing this week. 


Of course once you have seen all of the recipes for the day, you’ll not want to miss our  #SundaySupper conversation on twitter each SundayWe tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. This week we will be sharing out special soup recipes!

Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET and you do not want to miss out on the fun. Follow the#SundaySupper hash tag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat.

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