To say that my family likes refried beans would be the understatement of the year. I think we'd starve without them! They are my go to meal at least once and often twice a week. They are usually consumed in some form for lunch 4-5 times a week. And, if you're feeling a little under the weather in the Benedict house, we'll offer you a tortilla with beans and cheese. Why you ask? Because Matt thinks they make everything, including upset tummy's, better!
Last year I read some articles that sited research about BPA in the lining of cans contaminating the food inside them. Eating beans, not just refried beans, has become our main source of protein. The easiest way to get beans is in cans. I knew I would never be able to totally eliminate canned foods from our diet, sometimes we just need the connivence of the can, but I knew we could reduce the amount of canned products we were eating and that the best place to start was with the refried beans. So, I began researching how to make my own refried beans. When I learned that I could make a large batch of beans and freeze the leftovers for later, I was sold.
So, here is my "How to Make Refried Beans Benedict Style!" Enjoy!
Recipe: Refried Beans
Total Time Needed: All day...but only about an hour of hands on work!
3 c dried pinto beans
1/2 fresh or frozen jalapeno or other hot pepper
2 T minced garlic or garlic cloves
4 t salt
1 1/2 t ground pepper
1 T cumin
1/2 T chili powder
9 cups water
Step 1: Pour dried beans into a colander to rinse. Before rinsing, sift through the beans and remove any broken, split, and rock like beans. After all the broken once are gone, rinse the beans with cold water.
|Beans ready to be sorted through and rinsed.|
|The broken beans I removed from my beans.|
Step 2: Place the dried beans in a glass bowl and cover with water. You should use a 1:3 ratio; one cup of beans to 3 cups of water. I usually rinse and put my beans aside to soak first thing in the morning. I want them to soak for at least 4 hours before cooking. Its okay if it goes a little longer.
Step 3: Usually around 1:00, I prep my soaked beans to cook. I quarter an onion and chop up a hot pepper. I've been using a hot pepper I grew in my garden that I've frozen, but you could also us a jalapeno pepper. The more spice you like, the more hot pepper you should add.
I put the onion, pepper into a large stock pot and add garlic, cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper.
Then I drain the beans that have been soaking and rinse them again. I add them to the pot and again add water at the 1:3 ratio.
Step 4: Now its time to cook the beans. I usually cook the beans on medium-medium high heat for about 1-2 hours. Once the water takes on a murky, mushy bean color, I reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer for another 2-3 hours.
Step 5: Once the beans are fully cooked its time to make refried beans! You will need to drain the beans and reserve some of the liquid. This is the set-up I use. I put my colander in one of my mixing bowls.
Then I set the bowls in the sink...bean splatter...and pour the beans into the colander.
Then I pour the beans into a large bowl and use my potato masher to mash the beans! This is a great arm work out :-) You want to mash the beans, adding the reserved liquid, until you get the consistency you desire. Remember the big pieces of onion we cooked with the beans? You'll notice big chunks of them as you mash, but they should break up easily into the beans.
Step 6: Enjoy! Here is what my big bowl of beans looked like when I was finished. Our favorite way to enjoy fresh refried is with fresh, homemade flour tortillas. I'll share the recipe for those on here soon.
So there is no way we can eat all of these beans in one sitting. So after we eat our fill, I divide the leftovers into smaller containers and let cool. (Forgot to take a picture of this) After they have cooled, I put the beans in the freezer. When we're ready for more beans, I set a frozen container of beans on the counter for about 4 hours until it defrosts.
One more thing before I send you off to make your own beans. Rinse all utensils and bowls used to make beans immediately after using them. Dried beans turn into cement and it will take you lots of scrubbing and some muttering under the breath to get you dishes bean free again. :-)
Happy Bean Making!