Classic slow-cooked pinto beans that are smashed and refried
There is a profound difference between refried beans from a can and making them from scratch. It takes time, but it’s not difficult. We use them in bean and cheese burritos, as a spread on tortas, or just as a side. We’ve tried many recipes over the years. You can get by with less ingredients than we use, but I like the complex flavor of this recipe. Beans can be boring otherwise. We cook these in a bean pot we got from mexgrocer.com. You can use any large pot.
Homemade Refried Beans Recipe
16 Ounce bag of Pinto or Black Beans
10 cups water
5-8 pieces of bacon chopped
1 yellow onion roughly chopped
3-5 chipolte peppers in adobo sauce (from can) minced
1 Tbsp Mexican oregano
1 Tbsp Cumin
1 Tbsp dried Epazote (1/4 cup chopped fresh)
2 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp pepper
2 bay leaves
5 smashed garlic cloves
Pour the dried beans into the pot and look through for any small bits of rock or dirt. I’ll occasionally find a few here or there. Add the water to the pot and put over high heat.
Begin to render the bacon in a small pan. Once it begins to brown, add the onions and cook on med-low for about 5 minutes. In the meantime, add all other ingredients to the bean pot. Except the salt. Add that in the last hour of cooking.
Once the bacon and onions are done, add them (including bacon fat) to the pot. Bring pot to a boil. Cover and cook on low for about 6 hours. I’ve cooked them for up to 8 hours. They’ll get softer the longer you cook them. If you’re not using a bean pot (it has holes in the cover) you’ll want to leave the lid not quite all the way on. Leave a little room for steam to escape. Stir the beans every so often and check the water level. If they start getting too dry, you can add more hot water. The beans should always have a bit of liquid around them. Even when they’re done
You can eat the beans as is, or you can blend/mash them to make refried beans. Using a blender in batches, blend everything to a soupy paste. In a large frying pan, heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil over medium heat. Add the beans and cook stirring often for 10-15 minutes. Add more salt and pepper to taste.