Refried beans are an essential side dish to every Mexican meal. I am a fan of Trader Joe’s Vegetarian Salsa Style Refried Pinto Beans- I am not sure if I should be embarrassed to admit it. 🙂 They are smooth-textured and tasty. This dish, Frijoles Refritos, is very different- and delicious as well! The beans are coarsely mashed and thick-textured. I used pinto beans (my preference) but any type of bean could be used and each would have a unique flavor. I also used avocado oil, but I am sure that they would be even tastier with bacon drippings…. This recipe is from Rick Bayless’s Mexican Kitchen: Capturing the Vibrant Flavors of a World-Class Cuisine. We ate them with Tacos of Creamy Braised Chard, Potatoes, & Poblanos.
Yield: Makes about 3 1/2 cups, 6 generous servings
- 2 T vegetable oil, rich-tasting lard, bacon or chorizo drippings
- 1 medium white onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
- 4 cups undrained, seasoned cooked beans, preferably slightly warm for easy mashing
- coarse salt, if necessary
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled queso fresco, or pressed, salted farmer’s cheese, dry feta or Parmesan, for garnish
- cilantro, for garnish, optional
- tortilla chips for garnish, optional
- In a large (10- to 12-inch), well-seasoned or nonstick skillet, heat the oil or pork fat over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until deep golden, about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, cook for a minute or so.
- Use a slotted spoon to scoop in about 1/4 of the warm beans, leaving most of the liquid behind. With a potato masher or the back of a large spoon, mash the beans into a coarse puree. Add another portion of the beans, mash them in, and continue until all of the beans have been added and coarsely mashed.
- Add about a cup of the bean liquid (or water if you have no liquid) and stir frequently over the heat until the beans are still a little soupier than you’d like to serve them (they’ll thicken as they sit). They should have the consistency of warm mashed potatoes. The total cooking time will take 10 to 15 minutes.
- Taste and season with salt, if necessary.
- Serve sprinkled with crumbled cheese, cilantro, and tortilla chips, as desired.
- It is easier to mash warm beans than cold ones. (I microwaved the beans to warm them before adding to the pan.)
- Cook the beans softer than you want them because the dish thickens as it cools.
- If the dish is made in advance, keep the beans warm in a double boiler rather than over direct heat. Check consistency and stir in a little water, if necessary, before serving.
One Year Ago: