Gallina Pinta (Ox Tail, Pinto Beans and Maize Soup)

This is a traditional recipe from the state of Sonora in Mexico. Sonora is located in the north of Mexico, bordered by the states of Baja California, Chihuahua and Sinaloa.

If we translate the name of this dish into English it would be, “spotted hen”,  I know, it doesn’t make any sense, as the dish isn’t cook with chicken, but apparently they call it like that because of the combination of colours between the beans and the maize.

This recipe was given to me by my brother’s mother-in-law, she invited us for lunch one afternoon and surprised us with this delicious meal. It is very easy to cook and extremely yummy, El inglés, my husband, had seconds.

Serves 5

Prep 10 min

Cook over 1 hr 


  • 500 gr ox tail or beef skirt cut in chunks 
  • 150 gr pinto beans
  • 1 kg Maize or Hominy
  • 1 small onion cut in half
  • 1/2 green California pepper or green pepper
  • 2.5 L water
  • Salt to taste 
  • A pinch dried oregano

To garnish

  • Chopped coriander
  • Chopped onion
  • Limes cut in quarters 
  • Spicy salsa or dry chillie flakes


Put the beans and meat to cook in a large sauce pan with the water, cook until the beans are partially cook, then add the onion, green chillie and salt, cook for 15 min and add the maize and add the pinch of oregano. Cook until the meat is tender and the beans are cook properly.

Garnish with coriander, juice lime to taste, onion and spicy salsa or chillie flakes.


  • If you find dried maize, add the maize at the beginning with the beans and meat.
  • You can get tin maize or hominy in



Published by

Karla Zazueta

Mexican living in London

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