Piggy beans

by Julio Hernandez

Nashville |  Premiering on June 24


We are cruisin‘ from Cali to The Music City to enjoy some Southern Hospitality from one of our favorite Nashville Competing Chefs, Julio Hernandez of Nectar Urban Cantina. Stay tuned as he gives us the lowdown on how to recreate his“Piggy Beans”, one of the competing dishes from this year’s competition. Piggy beans are one of those beautiful dishes you can cook at home. 1 pot recipe and very forgiving yet the amount of layers developed during the cooking process allows you to shine on every bite.  

About Chef Julio Hernandez

Julio Hernandez, Nashville 2020 Competing Chef, has captivated the Music City with his unique Mexican fare as Executive Chef at Nectar Urban Cantina. Inspired by his Mexican heritage and time living in Argentina and Colombia, Hernandez learned the technique and art of different cultural cuisines. 


(Yields 5 Quarters)  

  • 8oz.  Giffords bacon 
  • 16oz. Chorizo rojo 
  • 1c. Carrots dice 
  • 1c. Celery dice 
  • 2c. Onion dice 
  • 20g. Garlic minced 
  • 3Tbsp. Ancho chili powder 
  • 4Tbsp. Chili powder 
  • 2tsp. Cumin ground 
  • 2tsp. Oregano Mexican 
  • 1tsp. Chili piquin 
  • Kosher salt (to taste) 
  • 4ea.  Roasted poblano peppers 
  • 6ea. Roasted tomatoes 
  • 1qt. Pork stock 
  • 1lb. Pinto beans al dente 
  • 1c. Pinto bean pure 


  1. Start by simmering your pinto beans until you reach an “al dente” texture. Soak them for a few hours to cut your cooking time in half.  
  2. Using your favorite stock pod or Dutch oven cook your bacon. (Julio suggests to use Giffords bacon to add a layer of smoke to the dish) don’t worry about crisping up the bacon simply sweat it down & set aside.  
  3.  In the same pod add the red chorizo cook and render down. Add oil if needed. Once fully cook set aside with the bacon you can go ahead and place them in the same container. 
  4. Time to add the veggies and start getting the aromatics to come out. With the remaining bacon & chorizo fat caramelized your onions, carrots, celery and finish with the garlic. Should take you About 15 minutes on a medium heat.  Be patience this step will bring brightness    to the dish when caramelized correctly. 
  5. At this point go ahead and add all of your spices. Ancho chili powder, Chili powder, Cumin ground, Oregano Mexican, Chili piquín, Kosher salt. Add the suggested measurements or as much as you are comfortable with. After all a recipe without a personal touch wont taste as good.  
  6. Over an open flame, a hot griddle or a 450f oven roast your tomatoes & poblano peppers this will add more depth of flavor to the dish. You won’t have to worry about cleaning the char spots on the vegetables. Once they cool down and are manageable to the touch rough chopped them & add it to the stew.  
  7. Add pork stock (chicken stock would do if you don’t have access to pork) after all they are call Piggy beans so try to source locally. Bring everything to a simmer.  
  8. Add the part cook beans to the pot saving   1c of whole beans to make a pure in a blender.  
  9. Using the bean stock blend 1 cup of beans until you reach a “re-fried bean” texture. We are using this pure as a thickening agent & add body to our piggy beans. 
  10. Once you have added the bean pure stir and simmer for at least 45 minutes. You will quickly notice the consistency of the piggy beans go from soupy to thicker. Adjust seasonings & spice level. Julio likes them spicy and suggests eating the piggy beans in a small bowl and garnish with pickled red onions, queso fresco, Serrano peppers & pork rinds. They also make for great tacos. A little bit goes a long way. Grown up snacks that’s for sure.