This is how I learned to make refried beans from restaurateurs in central Mexico. You can use pinto or black beans. Also, choose between vegetable oil for vegetarian refried beans, or lard (if, like me, you buy local pork and have it on hand) for rich and very tasty beans. The key is cooking the mashed beans long enough evaporate the water to make them starchy and light. Plan for 15 or so minutes of stirring and the rewards of exceptional refried beans for tacos, tostadas, bean dip, enchiladas, quesadillas... or as a side dish. You can prepare this recipe up to 3 days in advance.
Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium heat and add 4 tablespoons of the oil. Add the onion and jalapeno and cook until the onion is translucent and the jalapeno is tender, about 3 minutes.
Add the beans and mash very well until they become like a puree. Reduce the heat to medium low.
Switch to a large spoon and stir the beans from the edges of the pan toward the center. When the beans begin to dry, add the remaining oil 1 tablespoon oil and continue stirring and scraping the pan while the beans steam and simmer.
After about 15 minutes, the beans will begin to turn into a single, smooth mass. Shake the pan and when the beans look like a giant bean pancake, they're done.
Taste for seasoning. If the beans were well seasoned, you may not need any additional salt. Use immediately or store in the refrigerator or freezer as desired.
Make a batch of homemade refried beans and store in 1/2 cup portions in the freezer for quick and easy dinners.
Copyright 2021 Lynne Curry