Frijoles refritos (refried beans)

These are a staple at Mexican restaurants, but often disappointing. They are very easy to make at home, though, and have plenty of uses outside of Mexican cuisine.

  • 4 TB oil or fat (see below)
  • 2-15 oz cans pinto beans, drained, liquid reserved
  • 1 tennis ball-sized onion, chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • 2 Jalapeño peppers, stemmed, halved lengthwise, seeded, and sliced thin
  • 1 TB ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper

Lard is traditionally used for this, but is not necessary. Bacon fat is good or use pretty much any vegetable oil–in which case the dish will be vegan.

Heat the oil in a 12 inch skillet. When hot, add the onion, garlic, and Jalapeño and cook over medium heat until starting to brown. Add the beans and a bit of their liquid. Stir and mash with the back of a wooden spoon. When about half mashed, add the cumin and pepper. Continue mashing, add more liquid as needed, until you get the desired consistency. Some people like their beans to be almost completely smooth while others, including me, like to leave a good bit of bean chunks intact (as in the photo). Correct salt if needed.

Explore posts in the same categories: Ethnic, Sides, Vegetarian

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