12 April 2012

rather make than buy: refried beans

We try to eat a beans and rice meal at least once a week. Here's the most simple, easy bean recipe I use. It's great for burritos, taco salad, chikilikis, etc. No pre-soaking necessary.

      2 lbs dry pinto beans, rinsed
      9 c water
      2 dried chilies (New Mexico, CA or ancho)
      3 cloves garlic, peeled
      1 sm onion, roughly chopped

Cook at least 3-4 hours and up to all day in the crockpot on high. After the beans are soft, use a potato masher to squish them all up and season with:
      2-3 t salt (or to taste)
The time really doesn't matter too much because you're cooking the beans til they're really squishy. (I usually leave them for about 5-8 hours on high.) Everything's loose in this recipe. Like the water never makes them the exact same runny-ness so you may start with less and add more if they're not covered. Or if you finish up and they're too runny, leave the pot open and on low so they can reduce down.

Personal preferences:
  • Sometimes I try different beans. 
  • Sometimes I vary the chili situation--just one of those chilies or fresh or pickled. 
  • Pickled jalapeño juice, cumin or oregano added at the end give a nice flavor.
  • I freeze all the leftovers in dinner portion sizes in Ziplock bags. Usually this gives me about 3 cans worth in the freezer.
I love how easy and cheap this is. It takes me 5 minutes to get it all in the crockpot. Washing up is the biggest trouble...and David usually is the dish washer :)


Christa Forsythe said...

Have you ever canned them? I love, love, love homemade refried beans and would rather have them homemade than from a can... I've also thought about freezing them in zip lock bags... we eat bean almost every day... so gonna try this recipe!

Anna Beth said...

oo! nope i've never canned them. that seems like a lot of work for something that we use so fast and is available year-round. have you?

you have to let me know how you tweak it! it's not really refried, they're just squished. but every once in awhile i'll reheat them in the skillet with bacon grease...

Anna Beth said...

and hi Christa!!! :)