Thursday, January 15, 2009

frijoles refritos

Refried Beans. What could be more simple, more down-to earth? They are good at any meal, and are a good replacement for mashed potatoes. They are a must have with tacos, enchiladas, ect. I like them with eggs at breakfast!

I much prefer homemade refried beans to anything in a can, and with a little prep work it dosn't take long to whip up a batch of refried beans.

Start the evening before:

First sort your beans. Broken pices are ok. Rocks and sticks are not. Then wash. How much washing depends on the beans. I have bought beans that I have taken outside in a collander and shaken to get a lot of the dirt out, then brought back in and washed many times. Others, a couple good washings did the job. Wash till the water in the bowl is clear.

Now, refill the bowl of beans with cold water, you want the water well over the beans, like a couple inches. I cover mine with a plate over the bowl. We have a cat. I also leave the bowl in the sink. You are done with the beans until morning. Goodnight!

Next morning, pour out the soak water and rinse the beans well through a colander.

Now you can cook them any way you want. Pressure cooker, stove top, crock pot. I usually use the crock pot.

Many hours later, at least 6 or 7 on low, when they are done, you are ready to make your frijoles refritos!

Drain your beans, reserving the liquid.

Now you need a large skillet, preferably well seasoned cast iron. If not well seasoned and large, large and non-stick will do. You need a good amount of fat in that skillet. I use lard and bacon grease. You don't need lots of bacon grease, but some to give flavor.

Get your grease hot. Put a spoonful of the drained beans in the hot grease. WATCH FOR SPLATTERS, and be careful not to heat the grease to the smoke point!

Now with a potato masher, mash this spoonful of beans, working quickly. When pretty much mashed, add another, continuing until done with all the beans. At this point, or before if they get too dry, you will want to use some of your reserved cooking liquid to make them the consistency you want.

Now, add your salt, and pepper if you want. I do not add any other spices to my refried beans except occasionally a hint of garlic.

As I said at the start, refied beans go good with many things!

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