Alamo, where Jalapeño jelly is very popular!!

"Secrets to Cooking TexMex"

Bean Burgers

A favorite among San Antonians for over 20 years, here’s an authentic recipe that tastes best when the meat is cooked over a hot ‘mesquite’ fire.  This recipe serves four but can easily be doubled or tripled.  Give ‘em a try at your next cookout.


The key ingredient in this recipe is the beans, so if using the canned variety, they need
to be ‘doctored’ as most all consist of only beans and water.  Heat the beans in a small
saucepan, adding salt, pepper, picante sauce, chili powder, cumin, garlic, and water and
let simmer on a low heat for 30 minutes.  Turn the heat to low so beans will thicken.
The next item to prepare is the meat.

Start by spreading the hamburger meat of choice out in a flat pan.  Sprinkle the fajita
seasoning evenly across the meat, then mix in with your hands.  Roll into a ball and pinch
off enough meat to form a baseball.  Each ball should be 5 oz. in weight or 4 balls of equal size.
Hand form each of the patties by placing one ball at a time on  the ‘waxed’ paper and start
by pushing down with the palm of your hand.

Rotate the patty while forming the edges.  Turn the patty over and repeat the same process.
When you have a patty that is 1/4” thick and well rounded, place on a plate.  Put a piece of
waxed paper (6”x6”) on top and continue until all the patties are formed.  Put a piece of
‘waxed’ paper between each patty to keep from sticking to each other.

Light a mound of charcoal briquettes or your gas grill at this point.  While waiting for
the fire to get ‘red hot’, prepare the other items.  Start by soaking the mesquite chips in

Next, crush the Fritos® by placing in a zip lock type plastic bag.  Crush by hand or use a
rolling pin.  Pour into a pie plate and set aside.  Next, melt your butter or margarine and set aside.

The fire should be about ready, so spread the coals out and drain the water from the chips
and add the chips to the fire.

Place the patties over the hot coals and cook for 1-2 minutes.

Flip the patty and again cook for about 2 minutes.  The whole idea is to sear the meat to retain
the juices for flavor.  Flip the patties one last time.

With a spoon, place 1 tablespoon of the picante sauce on each patty and spread across the meat.

Add 1 slice of the cheese on top of each patty and let melt.  Remove and place the patties in a
pan that is lined with a paper towel.  Omit this step and you will have a soggy bottom bun, guaranteed !!

Turn on your broiler and while waiting for it to get hot, butter each bun and place on a cookie sheet.  
Place the buns under the broiler and toast until browned.  Remove, and with a ‘hot  mitt’,
hold the bottom bun in the palm of your hand.

Spread an even layer of the warm beans across the bun, no thicker than 1/4”.
Take the bun and turn over into the pie pan filled with the crushed Fritos.  Gently press down
so the Fritos stick to the beans.  Repeat this process for all the bottom buns.

Place one single ring of the red onion (not slice), add the patty and put the top bun on.
If you made guacamole, spread across the top bun before putting on top of the meat.
Serve immediately.

For any leftovers, to reheat simply wrap the beanburger with a paper towel and 
microwave 30-45 seconds.  Turn the whole burger over and microwave again for 30-45 seconds.

These are great served with papas fritos (TexMex fries).



Questions ? or Comments:
Copyright 1998-2007 "Secrets to Cooking Tex-Mex/Michael W. Ludwig. All rights reserved.