Thursday, July 16, 2009

Refried Beans

I've got a series of posts that I'm working on right now. I've decided to delve into the world of freezer meals - who doesn't love the idea of having dinner all ready in the freezer, and all you have to do is take it out to thaw in the morning and it's ready to heat for dinner! So I sorted through all the stuff in my freezer, taking inventory and deciding what to use and how to make room for dinners. Next I planned several meals that I will be making over the next many days. Freezer meals usually mean big batches and lots of cooking. You can either do one or two huge marathon cooking sessions and get it all done at once, or spread it out over several days and/or cooking sessions. I'll be spreading it out, doing one or two meals or parts of a meal per day.

One of my planned meals is frozen burritos. These appeal to me because you can take out and heat as many as you need, plus I just really love burritos. But one of my criteria for the meals I planned was that they should use as many things that I already have as possible - no going out and buying a can or two of refried beans when I had a bag of pintos waiting in the cupboard! So I made a big ole' batch of refried beans from scratch. It was easier than I expected, though it took a long time.

Refried Beans
1 lb. dried pinto, pink, or kidney beans plus soaking water
6 cups water
2 onions, chopped (optional)
1/2 cup hot bacon drippings, margarine, or lard
Salt to taste

Soak beans overnight or by quick method. Add water and onions. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer slowly until beans are tender, about 3 hours. Mash beans with potato masher.

Add fat and salt. Mix well; continue cooking, stirring frequently until beans are thickened and fat is absorbed. Serve at once or refrigerate for later use.

This is the first time I've made real refried beans. I've made a quick facsimile using bean powder, but never actually cooked the beans, mashed them, and "refried" them. I was pleased that they turned out so good - thick and flavorful. They also thickened up quite a bit in the fridge. These pictures were taken after chilling overnight - I made the beans last night when there was no good lighting. But don't they look good now?

Stay tuned for the next post in my freezer meal adventure - I've got to assemble and freeze the burritos!


Tiffaney said...

I am so impressed. I was pretty sure that one could make refried beans from scratch, but I've never known someone who knew how to do it :-) Do they taste the same or better than those you can buy in a can? This is such a good recipe because it really helps with using the food storage that I (should) have. Thanks!

Stephanie said...

The flavor is different, particularly because I used margarine instead of lard (which is more traditional). But I like to say that different doesn't mean better or worse, just different. I like it canned and I like it this way too! :-)

Katy said...

Have you been reading my mind? I as looking for a refried bean recipe! This looks good!

shweetpotato said...

omgosh I just got done making some refried beans myself, I did mine in the crockpot. I soaked my beans overnight with water covering them in the crockpot. In the morn I drained the beans and recovered with about an inch or so of water. You can add onion, spices, bacon etc.. cook on low for 8 or 9 hours or until beans are soft. I think I used about 4 C pinto beans. Makes ALOT to freeze. I want to can some. ALso make some chili out of some of them. Good for freezing. Please visit my blog to see the beans in the crockpot recipe I posted it awhile ago. Its a good basic recipe, no reason to heat up the house in the summer :) LOVE your blog, Carmen

then of course to make them refried you would have to squish them a lil with some of the juice and fry em :)I dont do them on the stove anymore.