Friday, November 7, 2008

Restaurant Style Refried Beans

We love these refried beans because they taste like the ones you get at Mexican restaurants. Even better is the fact that these beans cost the equivalent of paying $0.35 a can which is better than any price I've ever seen. I posted the step-by-step recipe with photos for almost every step over at eHow earlier but wanted to get it here for those who aren't stopping by over there.

Here's what you'll need:
3 pounds pinto beans, sorted & rinsed
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 cup manteca (lard), divided

Add beans to a large stock pot and cover with water about double the depth of the beans. Add onion, garlic, salt, ground cumin, and 1/4 cup (a big dollop) manteca. Boil on high for 2 hours, checking occasionally to add more water as needed. If you prefer to cook them slower, you can boil them on medium for 3 1/3 to 4 hours. You want the beans to be very soft and mushy. The water will turn a reddish, brown. Once they are done, you can leave them on a low simmer until you need them.

When you want to fry them, prepare a large frying pan with 1/4 cup manteca. When the manteca is melted (over medium high heat) and the pan is hot, add about half the beans with some of the water. Mash and stir them with a potato masher. Add more bean liquid to thin beans to desired consistency, if needed. If they are too thin, add and mash more drained beans and continue to heat. They will thicken. Restaurant beans are normally pretty thin.

You can now either store the rest of the beans whole or mash the rest in another 1/4 cup of manteca.

This recipe makes 16-17 cups of refried beans. There are a few ways to store the cooked beans:
  1. You can put the whole beans in the fridge and mash as needed. I do this if I think we'll eat them by the end of the week.
  2. You can mash them all and store them in the fridge to use as needed. This tends to thicken the leftover beans.
  3. You can mash them all and freeze them in meal-sized portions for later use. When needed, bring them to room temperature and reheat in a sauce pan like you would with canned beans.

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The Four Week Vegan said...

I am printing this up and hoping to have ready for tomorrow dinner - tacos. I will let you know how it goes :)

Luke Holzmann said...

I love me some refried beans. Thanks!