Refried Beans

An important side dish for lots of tex/mex fare. In this case, it was the first layer for my party Tostadas from the weekend, so pre-manufactured refried beans were out of the question. (Chris Kimball says spackle is spackle)

Chris also says to start your refried beans by using canned pinto beans. But I started with dried beans (soaking them the night before).  Not only did this cut my bean cost from $3.80 to $0.80, more importantly, it lets me avoid the awkwardness of opening four cans in front of my dinner guests. The 1-1/2 hour cooking time wasn’t a big deal, because I was cooking all day anyhow.

I ran most of the cooked beans through the food processor, with chicken broth, and reserved a cup of whole beans to give a better texture.  Then I cooked some diced bacon, then sauteed the onion, poblano chili and jalapeno in bacon fat for 5 minutes, then added garlic. Finally I added the processed and whole beans to the pan and cooked until warmed throughout.

The whole process only took about 25 minutes of work. Mostly it’s a matter of patience while the beans soak and cook. I give them only 3-stars, but refried beans are never intended to be more.

Rating: 3-star.
Cost: $2 (for doubled recipe).
How much work? Low.
How big of a mess?  Low/Medium.
Start time 4:00 PM. Dinnertime 6:30 PM.


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