We’ve gotten onto a bit of a kick of working with whole ingredients whenever we can – in Ian’s case it’s mostly to save money, but in my case it’s also because I really like knowing exactly what’s in my food whenever possible – and avoiding ingredients that I can’t identify. I mentioned to Ian earlier that I was intending to make burritos for dinner, and he decided to put some pinto beans on to soak, so that we could make homemade refried beans to go in the burritos. They had a good long soak in the water, thanks to our little Emergency Room visit this afternoon (no worries – Ian’s just gotten himself a little eye infection – probably from rubbing his eyes too much this week, as he’s been sick all week, and we live in a little town where no walk-in clinics are open after noon on Saturday). Once we got home, Ian had a nap to continue working on getting rid of his crud, and then he made up the beans while I prepped the rest of the burrito fixings. Here’s what he did:
3/4 cup dried pinto beans
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp bacon grease (or make this vegan by using vegetable shortening)
1 clove garlic
Soak the beans for up to 8 hours or so. Cook the beans – we did ours in a pressure cooker for about 30-40 minutes at 12psi. If you’re cooking them on the stove, you’ll need to boil them for 90-120 minutes. Once they’re cooked, drain the beans but reserve the leftover cooking liquid.
Melt the bacon grease in a frying pan. Pulverize the clove of garlic and cook briefly in the grease. Put the beans in the pan on top of that. Mash the beans with the back of your spatula until they’re almost totally mush. Add about 1/4 cup of the bean water back into the pan, which will water the beans down quite a bit. Add in the rest of the spices, and then simmer the whole thing until the beans are the thickness you like them. We cooked these until they were about the same consistency as the type you’d get in a can.
Eat however you like refried beans… we added them to beef burritos, topped with the usual fixings – grated cheddar, shredded lettuce, salsa, sour cream and cilantro. They were SO much better than the ones you’d buy in a can, PLUS we know exactly what all went into them!