Refried Beans – Mexican Version of Hummus, is something you can make at home, cheap with relative ease. It keeps in the freezer extremely well. There are a couple of Tricks to get the Best Refried beans.
You can use any beans you want. Black Beans, Pinto Beans, Kidney Beans, or others however the standard for Refried Beans is Pinto Beans. I have used Black Beans for things like Burrito Bowls and Taco Pie as well as Kidney Beans.
Cook the beans a little past done. It should mash up very easily. You want to puree the beans until very smooth.
It may be desired to reserve some beans and add them into the refried beans paste to mash up a bit for a chunkier version of refried beans.
El Paso Ingredients
Cooked Beans, Water, Contains Less than 2% of: Partially Hydrogenated Lard, Salt, Vinegar, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Spice, Chili Pepper.
Less than 2 % of lard seems to be extremely low for me unless we are talking about Rendered Pork Fat. That might be the case.
Beans naturally cry out for Fat. Whether it be Hummus, Baked Beans, or here for Refried Beans. Fat added to the Beans will bring a far superior mouthfeel and taste to beans with no fat.
The broth is going to assist us when pureeing the Beans. It will get cooked out when we fry the beans and the flavors will intensify. You can use just water as well.
The trick here is the Liquid to Bean ratio in the final product. You can always reduce further or add more water/broth to adjust the consistency.
This is definitely needed to lift the flavors up a bit more. Giving you a better refried bean paste with lifted Flavors.
Finally the Salt, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Spice, and Chili Powder. In its place, we use Taco Seasoning. Add as much as you like for your preference.
For a Vegetarian Version Replace the Fat with Vegetable Shortening and the Broth with Vegetable or Mushroom Broth.
Cooking the Beans
There are a couple of ways to do this. However you choose, the objective is to get easily mashed beans.
You can choose to soak the beans overnight which will reduce the cook times and allows the beans to cook more evenly due to the intake of water.
You can also cook until just al dente and remove some to roughly mash and continue to cook the rest till easily pureed and then add in the rough mash beans with the pureed beans for added texture.
Place the beans in the pressure cooker and heat on max. After the first whistle, drop the heat to medium-high and cook 12- 15 minutes for beans that have not been soaked.
Quick Release and check if the beans are good. If not leave in the hot water for a while or return to the pressure cooker to finish and then strain.
Place the beans in the slow cooker with water to cover and cook until done. This will take a few hours depending on whether you soaked the beans or not. For Soaked beans, this will be about 2 hours for beans that have not been soaked longer.
Once we have the beans cooked. Add them into a food processor with some Pork Broth or water to assist in moving things along.
Add in chopped Onions, Garlic, Peppers if desired for more flavor when pureeing the beans.
Rendered Pork Fat
With Some Pork trimming that you might have saved. If not you can use Beef Suet or Lard in its place but Rendered Pork Fat will give you the best flavor.
Heat on medium heat and cook until you render the fat out and the pork is golden crisp. Any leftover fat can be refrigerated and used for other things.
Check out my post on Rendered Fat to learn more.
Frying the Beans
Place the pureed beans in the pan with the hot rendered Pork Fat and Add-in Taco Seasoning to taste. Start with a small amount as the broth evaporates the flavors will intensify. Then add more Taco Seasoning towards the end to adjust the seasoning.
Fry the beans on medium heat until you get to the Volcano Stage. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes or so. Refried Beans have the tendency to dry out fast depending on the water content.
For Big Batches, you can portion and freeze these and use them later.
The objective when frying the beans is to create a fond that can be incorporated into the paste while at the same time cooking the beans down to the correct texture.
While cooking the Re-fried beans on medium heat, you are looking to cook until the Volcano stage.
The Volcano Stage means that while cooking the refried beans. It creates little holes (Volcanoes) that hold their shape and steam escapes evaporating the water. If you listen closely there will be a moment where it starts to whistle.
At first, the volcanoes will not hold their shape and instead flap a bit. Once they start holding their shape and they steam consistently, you are done or just before this. Set aside for a few minutes to cool. Mix and serve.
- 2 C Pinto Beans – soaked the night before
- 2-3 Tbl Rendered Pork Fat
- 2 Tbl Taco Seasoning or more
- 1 C Pork Broth
- 1 tsp Vinegar – or more depending on taste
- Slow Cook the beans until very tender and easily mashed. About 2 hours. Place the Beans into a Food Processor with Pork Broth to move things along and puree.
- Render Pork Fat by heating up some pork fat in a skillet on medium heat. Continue to cook until the fat has been rendered and the Pork is crisp. Remove the Pork Crisp and add in the beans. Mix well.
- Add 1 Tbl Taco Seasoning and Vinegar to taste and continue to cook. Mix more often as it thickens and scrape the bottom of the pan.
- Continue to cook until desired consistency, adjust the seasoning with more taco seasoning and allow to cool.