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Great refried beans recipe. An easy recipe for authentic Mexican Frijoles refritos!
Delicious refried beans
Frijoles refritos - the beany soul of the Mexican kitchen, something that is so often served as a bland afterthought - but that when made well can well and truly steal the show!
You can use either pinto beans or black beans for authentic Mexican refried beans. North of the border, pinto beans seem more popular, although most Mexican bean dishes will use black beans. Use whichever you prefer.
The secret to great beans is...the beans! You can use canned beans for this, but boiling dried beans in a Mexican style will make them much better. If you're not sure how to prepare dried beans, please follow my link at the bottom of the page for instructions. Don't worry, they're really easy to make. You want your beans to be completely creamy inside.
They other secret to refried beans is using enough salt. Beans need a lot of salt before they get really tasty. You're going to have to keep salting and tasting until you get them just right. You should keep a few extra beans on hand in case you over salt, so you can mix them in to dilute the taste.
- vegetable oil or lard
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- one onion chopped
- about 3 cups of cooked beans and some of the liquid from the cooked beans if you've got it.
A few easy steps to refried beans
- Heat about 4 Tbls of vegetable oil or lard (use lard if you've got it for a great rich taste that's truly Mexican) in a heavy fry pan or a wok, over medium heat. A big heavy wok actually works really well when you're squishing the beans later.
- Add the chopped onion and sauté until softened and beginning to brown, about five to ten minutes, stirring or shaking occasionally.
- Add in your garlic and sauté for about thirty seconds.
- Immediately add a ladle full of cooked beans, and using a big spoon, start mashing the beans in the oil. Once the first spoonful of beans has been mashed completely, keep adding progressive more beans and repeating the process. The unique taste of refried beans occurs as a result of slowly frying the starches inside the beans in the oil, so you want to add the beans a little bit at a time, to make sure they all get good and fried.
- Once all the beans have been mashed add a little bean liquid or water, until you get the texture that you want. Keep it a bit looser than you eventually want, as they will continue to firm up as they cool off the heat.
- Now all that you need to do is salt your beans. The beans need a lot of salt, so just keep adding pinches of salt and tasting until it tastes right.
That's it. These beans are great on their own with a sprinkle of cheese on top, or as a filling for bean burritos, on the side with fajitas, fresh warm soft tacos...whatever. You'll love how much better your Mexican food tastes with authentic refried beans.
These will also freeze well, so it's a good idea to make more than you need. The recipe above can be easily doubled or more.