Chorizo and Beans Chili: Muy Bueno: Three Generations of Authentic Mexican Flavors reviewed

Chili with Mexican Pot Beans and Chorizo

I have had quite a few book reviews for you guys lately. And, happily for me, all the books have been winners. I am especially excited to have made contact with the folks at Hippocrene, because they publish wonderful international cookbooks–and you guys know those are my favorite kind. Well, those and cookies.

Chili with Mexican Pot Beans and Chorizo

This one, Muy Bueno: Three Generations of Authentic Mexican Flavor, is particularly timely with Cinco de Mayo in a few days.  Muy Bueno is a treasure trove of the kinds of Mexican recipes that generations of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans have been making on both sides of the border. Simple, in many cases, but intensely flavorful. The 3 generations in question refer to a grandmother, daughter and 2 granddaughters, but the cookbook is by a mother and her 2 daughters (Evangelina Soza, Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack, Veronica Gonzalez-Smith), who wrote the cookbook to honor their (grand)mother, Jesusita Mendias-Soza, and preserve their family’s recipes. They also have a blog, Muy Bueno Cookbook, which I suggest you check out. If you are familiar with Mexican food, their food is specifically mostly northern Mexican in origin; among the recipes I have bookmarked are Red Pork and Hominy Stew; Chicken Tinga; Green Chile with Beef and Potatoes; and the Mango Upside-Down Cake with a Cajeta-Rum Glaze.

The book does a good job of showing how traditional Mexican cooking builds on top of various staples–for example, the Red Chile Sauce, which is called for in quite a few recipes throughout the book. The recipes are deceivingly simple in this regard, because any time you see that sauce added, you can expect the recipe to be much fuller and bolder than the few ingredients listed implies. Here is where I have to confess that my midwestern taste buds kicked in–we added one can of fire roasted tomatoes. I just need some tomatoes in my chili!

The only other changes I made were to use cubed Monterey Jack cheese and sour cream as my garnishes, and for the pot beans I used Rancho Gordo’s Lila beans. I also added some lard and garlic to my pot beans, which is how I prefer them.

Chili with Mexican Pot Beans and Chorizo


5.0 from 1 reviews
Chorizo and Beans Chili
From Evangelina Soza: I started making this recipe while I was working two jobs. It was a great go-to meal for my kids after school. When I had leftover frijoles de la olla and red chile sauce I would simply add chorizo and ground beef to create this simple dish. Serve this in big bowls with saltine crackers or galletas (page 47) and you have a great cold weather or game day meal. Recipe courtesy of Hippocrene Books.
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Mexican
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 12 ounces Mexican chorizo, casings removed
  • 2½ cups Frijoles de la Olla with liquid (page 215)
  • 1½ cups Red Chile Sauce (page 25)
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • Salt to taste
  • Shredded Colby cheese (optional)
  1. Spray a large heavy skillet with nonstick cooking spray and set on moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the ground beef and brown for about 10 minutes. Drain off any excess grease.
  2. Add the chorizo by crumbling it into the cooked ground beef. Cover the skillet and cook the chorizo thoroughly for another 5 to 10 minutes. Using a potato masher, combine the beef and chorizo together.
  3. Transfer to a large pot and add the frijoles and liquid and cook for 5 minutes. Add the red chile sauce, water, and oregano and cook until it starts to boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes. Add more liquid from beans if mixture is too thick.
  4. Add salt to taste. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with a handful of cheese.
  5. to 10 Servings


chile beans with chorizo

Photo courtesy of Hippocrene Books; this photo only was not taken by me.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Mexican Pot Beans
From Veronica Gonzalez-Smith: Mom always said, “If there are frijoles in the house, then you have something to eat.” Beans are a true staple in Mexico. Freshly made frijoles de la olla is my favorite way to have beans. There is nothing more pure and earthy than the taste of homemade pinto beans. My kids love bean burritos, but there are so many ways to use frijoles. You can eat them straight out of the pot, hence the name frijoles de la olla, and you can have them mashed or refried. If you like refried beans try frying them in lard, like Grandma did, or in bacon or sausage drippings, or mash them up with some Mexican chorizo. The possibilities are endless. Recipe courtesy of Hippocrene Books.
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Mexican
  • 2 cups dried pinto beans
  • 1⁄4 onion, sliced (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  1. Spread the beans over your counter so you can look for any pebbles or beans that are broken, discolored, or shriveled and remove them.
  2. Place beans in a colander. Rinse thoroughly with cool water for about 3 minutes. This step is not necessary, but your beans will be lighter in color and “mas bonitos” as my Mom says.
  3. Soak the beans in cold water in a covered bowl for 4 to 6 hours before cooking. (I never soak them and they still come out bonitos. I think they come out bonitos when the beans are fresh, so I prefer to be a rebel and skip this step.)
  4. Drain the beans and pour into a large pot. Add enough water to come 3 inches over the beans. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover and simmer until the beans are tender, about 3 to 4 hours, adding more hot water as the beans absorb liquid. (Every pot is different so check your beans after 2 hours. Most take 3 to 4 hours but I have a pot I love to cook my beans in because it only takes 2 hours.) Add salt and onions, if using, about 1 hour before cooking is complete.
  5. Refrigerate beans in any liquid left when cooled. Beans can be refrigerated for up to
  6. days. The beans can also be frozen in small bowls for later use.
  7. Servings

5.0 from 1 reviews
Red Chile Sauce
From Evangelina Soza: I remember mi mamá standing at her kitchen table squeezing the boiled red chile pods with her bare hands; this was before she owned a blender. I never quite figured out how she did this because the chiles were extremely spicy, but her hands never seemed to feel the burn. Afterwards she would strain the red chiles by turning a wooden pestle around and around in a conical strainer and pressing down on the chile pods. This would result in the velvety rich chile that she used for so many recipes. Recipe courtesy of Hippocrene Books.
Recipe type: Sauce
Cuisine: Mexican
  • 8 ounces California or New Mexico red chile pods
  • 6 cups water
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  1. Remove stems, seeds, and veins from the chile pods. Place in a colander and rinse well with cool water.
  2. Add the chiles to a large pot and add enough water so they are just covered. Bring water to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes. After 10 minutes turn the chiles over with tongs to make sure the chiles soften evenly. Drain cooked pods and allow time to cool down before blending. Discard water.
  3. Fill blender with 3 cups of water, half of the cooled chile pods, 3 tablespoons flour, 2 cloves garlic, and half of the salt. Blend until smooth. Strain sauce through a fine sieve to remove skins and seeds; discard skins and seeds. Repeat blending and straining process with remaining water, pods, flour, garlic, and salt. If necessary, season with more salt.
  4. This sauce can be made in advance and
kept in airtight containers in the refrigerator or freezer. Red chile sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week or frozen for up to six months.
  5. Makes 6 to 7 cups


I was provided with a free copy of Muy Bueno: Three Generations of Authentic Mexican Flavor from the publishers for the purposes of reviewing. I was not compensated in any other way and all opinions are my own.

Affiliate links were used in this post, but only to link to items I was already discussing and linking to anyway.

Chili with Mexican Pot Beans and Chorizo


  1. says

    I have this cookbook and I (ashamedly) have not made ANYTHING from it! You’re making me want to dive into this bowl of chili though!

    • Laura says

      It wasn’t too spicy–probably depends on the chorizo. Because otherwise my kids could not eat!

  2. says

    I love this cookbook and am thrilled that Yvette just announced that she and another blogging friend are working on another book– this time it is all about cocktails. I am sure it will be beautiful and filled with great ideas.

  3. says

    I’m going to have to put this cookbook on my amazon wishlist. I absolutely love authentic Mexican food and would love to make more of it at home. Heading over to their blog now to check it out!

  4. says

    Thanks for sharing about the Muy Bueno Cookbook – clicked over to the site and looking forward to exploring more! Delicious looking soup with the chorizo as this is what I would call comfort food and something my grandmother/abuelita might’ve made. Would be wonderful with Cotija sprinkled on top too! :)

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