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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Refried Beans - Homemade Style!

This recipe is truly a labor of love because refried beans are cheap and how often do you eat them on a weekly basis?  If once a week then $1.00 per can is not going to hurt your budget.  However I like to think it's a matter of taste and preference for making food in bulk. 

I started with this recipe from Money Saving Mom and modified it to my own taste because the amount of onion made it taste too strongly of onion.  Also, I'd like to explain things more in detail and with photos.  If you are seriously into this project I suggest to read MSM's full article along with mine and make your own judgement call.

Soak Dried Beans
  • I started with a 2lb bag of dried pinto beans from Aldi.  I'm told dried beans can contain small rocks and to sift through them.  I found one rock and pulled out all the half cracked beans which was only a handful, washed the entire set in a strainer and put with 12 cups of water to soak overnight.
Cook Soaked Beans
  • The next day, it is recommended to drain the water to reduce flatulence.   Refill the pot with enough water to cover the beans, bring to a boil then cook on low temperature for 3-4 hours.  Some recipe's suggest less time but I like them really cooked through.
Refried Bean Recipe
  • 4 cups cooked pinto beans
  • 3 T butter or bacon grease (my husband actually strains bacon grease and freezes it, see MSM for other fat options)
  • 2/3 cup chopped onion 
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder (I didn't have fresh garlic on hand)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt (I found the 2 t. sea salt from MSM to be too salty)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Milk, as needed - I found that splashing it 4 times throughout the skillet seemed to give the consistency I was looking for.  A little more will just cook out so don't worry if it  looks too liquidy
  • Cook the onions in butter or bacon grease for 10 minutes, I cook them this long because I don't like the chunky taste of onions.  

  • While the onions are cooking, blend all spices in a small bow and mix with 4 cups of cooked pinto beans

  • Once the onions are done, add the pinto bean/spice mix and splash milk on top, mix until it gives the consistency you are looking for

  • Cook on low heat for 15 minutes, keep an eye on it because you don't want the beans to dry out so if the milk is disappearing too fast, then you can reduce cooking time.

  • At this point you can mash them with a potato masher if you feel the need to be more smashed but I find that with the additional cooking time on the pinto beans it's not necessary
  • 2lbs of dried beans will make 10 cups of cooked pinto beans
  • We made 5 pints of refried beans which equals 5 cans bought in the store

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