13 July 2017

Pinto Beans and Refried Beans - Frijoles de Olla y Frijoles Refritos

Slow-Cooker Pot of Pinto Beans - Refried Beans / www.delightfulrepast.com

Though I had grown up eating pinto beans as soup beans, something my mother presumably learned from my father's side (the Southern side) of the family, we never had refried beans. That's something I began making on my own later. But recently, when I first thought of posting it, I thought I better consult with my Mexican food expert, Mimi, via her daughter, my friend Julia, as I did for Mexican Rice.


Slow-Cooker Pot of Pinto Beans - and Refried Beans / www.delightfulrepast.com


Pot of Beans - Frijoles de Olla


Julia is not the big bean fan that I am, but she spoke to her mother about it so that I could get her "authentic" take on the subject. Turns out Mimi most often cooked a pot of beans, frijoles de olla, without going that step further of making refried beans (but more about that later).

She kept a teakettle of hot water handy to add to the pot of beans when the water level went too low during the long cooking. I thought that was a fantastic tip! Beans take long enough to cook as it is without slowing down the process even more by adding cold water to the simmering pot.

She used a little garlic, but I'm allergic to garlic and avoid it whenever I can. So I decided to throw in a small onion cut in half and just a tiny bit of cumin, red pepper flakes and oregano; not enough to notice, just enough to infuse a certain something into my garlic-free beans.

I've done the overnight pre-soak and the quick-soak thing, but have found just cooking the beans in their unsoaked state works as well. I just bring the pot of beans to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until done. It may or may not take a bit longer; that really depends on the age of the beans.

Usually I don't mind tending a pot of beans for a few hours, but it has been so hot this week I haven't wanted to be anywhere near the stove! So I decided to make my pot of beans in the slow cooker for the first time. And. I. will. never. cook. beans. any. other. way! Totally effortless!

Note: If I were cooking beans in a pressure cooker, I would definitely presoak. Otherwise, you will end up with lots of split skins and blown-out beans.

Sure, you can buy canned beans. But do the math first. A pot of beans from 2 pounds of dried beans equals about eight 15-ounce cans of beans! You can freeze the beans in can-size portions or whatever size portion you need. I will never buy canned pinto beans again.


Perfectly Cooked (No Presoaking) Pinto Beans - Make ahead and freeze - Never buy canned beans again! / www.delightfulrepast.com
Cook a big pot of pinto beans, use some now and freeze the rest in meal-size portions. Frozen beans will keep for up to 3 months.


Refried Beans - Frijoles Refritos


The word "refrito" doesn't really mean "refried," but rather "well-fried" or something like that, the Spanish "re" being an intensifier rather than a multiplier.

Some cooks prefer to use lard in their refried beans, but Mimi always preferred vegetable oil. Whenever vegetable oil is called for, I often use organic (non-GMO) canola oil.

It's important to heat the oil very well before adding the beans. But be very careful when adding the beans and, especially, their liquid to the hot oil.

I've made both bean recipes suitable for vegetarians and vegans. And, seasoned as they were, I didn't even miss the little bit of salt pork or fatty bacon I sometimes use. 

Slow-Cooker Pot of Pinto Beans + Refried Beans / www.delightfulrepast.com

 

Pinto Beans - Frijoles de Olla


(Makes about 13 cups of drained beans)

2 pounds dried pinto beans
2 teaspoons salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 small (about 6 ounces) onion, peeled and halved
3 quarts (about 3 liters) water


1 Rinse beans, watching for any debris or bad beans, and add to 6.5-quart slow cooker. Add 1 teaspoon of the salt, pepper, cumin, crushed red pepper flakes, oregano, onion and water. Set slow cooker on Low for 9 hours. (It won't take 9 hours, but I set it for longer so that I don't need to restart the cooker.)

2 After 6 hours, check the beans. If they are nearly done, remove the onion and add the remaining teaspoon of salt. Continue cooking for one hour; check for doneness. Mine were done at that point.

Note: The cooked beans can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

How to Make Pot of (Pinto) Beans and Refried Beans / www.delightfulrepast.com
Don't forget to Pin it!

Refried Beans - Frijoles Refritos


(Makes 2 cups)

1/4 cup organic canola oil
3 cups drained beans
1 cup bean liquid


1 Heat oil in skillet over medium heat until oil is very hot.

2 Add the beans, then add the bean liquid very slowly and carefully. Fry until the liquid is thickening, about 10 minutes.

3 Mash beans in the skillet with either a potato masher or an immersion blender (take the pan off the heat while using the immersion blender), adding more bean liquid if needed. You can completely mash the beans to a puree or leave some whole beans. The beans will thicken as they sit, so add enough liquid to make them less thick than you want them to end up.

Note: You can top the beans with queso fresco, if you like, but I prefer Monterey jack cheese and a sprinkling of chopped cilantro. And Homemade Flour Tortillas!


48 comments:

Angie Schneider said...

My kind of comfort food! I just love everything legumes. Thanks, Jean, for sharing this simple yet terrific recipe.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Angie. We'd starve to death without our legumes, wouldn't we?!

Mrs Shoes said...

YUmmmm, I have some tortillas just crying out for refried beans today!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Mrs Shoes. Soooo much better than anything out of a can!

Miz Helen said...

Pinto Beans are a staple here at the cottage, we have them at least once a week. Your recipe is great! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday and you have a great weekend!
Come Back Soon
Miz Helen

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Miz Helen! Love the beans with cornbread, too.

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

One of the great anthropological/archaeological losses of modern times occurred when I could not locate my dear departed mother’s been recipes. A mixture of experimentation and imagination on the part of moi was – alas – only partly successful. True, it was inedible; however, I was able to run my car for almost a year on one tank of the result. Beans are a staple. Pip, pip for your sharing of methodologies. I do like mucho pork involved, and I’ve been known to go through a box of brown sugar in the process. It’s amazing how good just plain old catchup tastes on the end product accompanied by butter embalmed in hot soft rolls (how sad that you are allergic to garlic, as garlic toast is another perfect add-on).

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

Jean, I've never made refried beans. Cooking dried beans in a slow cooker is the only way to go. I like doing this as well. I do black beans and black eyed peas in the slow cooker and they turn out well. You are so right about the value of dried vs. canned and in my opinion, better.♥

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sully, glad to be reminded that you are a bean fan. Of course, the Baked Beans - http://www.delightfulrepast.com/2012/02/baked-beans-from-scratch.html - have all those extra ingredients you love. I could live on bean burritos.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Martha, thank you. Yes, the home-cooked beans of any variety are always better than the canned version. And with a slow cooker, it's no more trouble than opening a can!

Jeanie said...

Not really big on beans but you might give me motivation to give them a try!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Jeanie, my husband is not a bean fan either. But I think he, and possibly you, simply didn't have enough exposure to them in childhood. You should give them a try!

Louca por porcelana said...

Hi Jean!I am always learning about food in your blog...I've never heard about that recipe,it looks good!Since I was a child,we usually eat black beans everyday,very common here...Hugs.

Margie said...

In the immortal words of Rihanna, "Where have you bean, all my life???"

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Hi, Maristella! How interesting about the different kinds of beans that are popular in different countries. I never thought of black beans as being common in yours! I like black beans, too, especially in a spicy soup.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Margie, I'm so out of it, I've never heard that song! I barely know who Rihanna is! :D But I always appreciate a clever play on words. Come back next Thursday for tea!

Sue Loncaric said...

I haven't had refried beans for many years and your post reminded of my friend who used to make them. Thanks for sharing your recipe with us at #BloggersPitStop. Have a great week!

Grammy Dee said...

Yum, looks tasty and I know it surely is. Sounds like my kind of food :) Thank you Jean for attending the #WednesdayAIMLinkParty. I pinned your post on Pinterest and shared it on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Sue! Last night I used some of the whole beans to make bean quesadillas. They were really good.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Grammy Dee! And your social media shares are much appreciated!

Mildred said...

We love refried beans and I greatly appreciate the recipe! Happy Weekend.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Mildred. It was funny, the cat was meowing around the kitchen as the beans were cooking - it seems he would like beans!

Pauline Wiles said...

I didn't know you're allergic to garlic - what a good thing it isn't needed for most of your baking recipes!
I confess I have never cooked my own beans, except for one time where I received a mason jar of soup ingredients as a gift. But you're right, the math is undeniable. And I do love your slow cooker technique. Thanks, Jean!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Pauline. And I like the way you put that - the math is undeniable!

Tony Grant said...

Abigail, my youngest has been doing her GCSEs this Summer. They are the exams 16 year olds take here in Britain. Every 16 year old has to do an exam in every subject as well as a few chosen extras. Abigail did 11 different subjects this Summer.
I shall get to the point now.
She did her Spanish GCSE. That included an aural exam where she spoke for five minutes on a given subject in Spanish and then answered verbal questions in Spanish. She then had to do another exam which included a dictation and had to write about a choice of subjects in Spanish. Marilyn and I heard Spanish spoken in our house for weeks!!! Abigail's accent was spot on too!!! Ha! Ha!
Your Spanish is not bad by the looks of it Jean.
Anyway, apart from that, the giveaway. That electrical plug socket is NOT European and definitely not British. I wonder where in the world you are Jean? Ha! Ha!
Mexican food? I like it!!! All the best, Tony

Cocoa and Lavender said...

Frijoles de olla are the tradition here in Tucson, but occasionally you can find good refried beans. The nice thing here is that no one puts garlic in their beans. Such a relief for you and me! I have never made my own refried beans... maybe I should try!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Tony, what fun! Abigail sounds delightful. My Spanish-speaking ability has gone waaaaay downhill since I was her age - I couldn't come close to passing Spanish GCSE. But as long as I can read a menu - that's the most important thing in any language!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

That IS nice, David! Lots of people I know put garlic in everything. And canned beans usually have garlic (garlic powder) in them - not good. I hope you'll try these refried beans soon.

Swathi Iyer said...

You make delicious food I love that you serve it as portion. I am in for some digging.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Swathi. I love to cook large batches of stuff and portion it out to freeze for future meals.

Rhyming With Wine said...

I've always enjoyed refried beans in restaurants but wouldn't have a clue how to make them myself. Anything I can do in a slow cooker works for me! (Oh and topped with cheese - every time haha.) Thanks for linking Jean x #DreamTeam

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Dawn, thanks so much (and thanks for the tweet!). I hope you'll try it soon and let me know how it turns out for you.

Debby Ray said...

Mmmm...I do like me some re-fried beans as a side with my Mexican dishes but have never attempted to make my own...other than opening a can and heating them up! Really looks delish! Thanks for the comment you left over on my blog and thanks for the yummy recipes! Have a great week!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Debby, thank you! Let me tell you, if you like canned refried beans, you are going to LOVE homemade!

April J Harris said...

Jean, you have perfect timing with this post! I have been wanting to make more beans from scratch instead of using them from tins! Love that you made these in the slow cooker, and also love the tip about the hot water. It's nice to have a refried bean recipe too as they are a favourite of mine - although I have to make them in small batches as my hubby isn't so keen. More for me though ;-) Thank you so much for sharing, and for being a part of Hearth and Soul. Scheduled to share on Pinterest and Twitter. Hope to see you at the party again this week!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

April, thank you! You gave me a chuckle when you said you have to make refried beans in small batches as your husband isn't so keen - neither is mine! That's why the recipe for refried beans makes just 2 cups! :D

Lauren @ My Wonderfully Made said...

I love your tip on using the crock pot. I know a lot of people think the crockpot is 'outdated' but there are certain things that just taste better when slow cooked and it looks like you found another. I love cooking and freezing my own beans because we try to avoid salt and the canned ones (even low sodium) are so high in sodium. Thanks for the recipes -- I LOVE refried beans!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Lauren. I don't use my slow cooker nearly often enough, but I do think of it more during hot weather! My cooking "big" and freezing meals really saves me in summer.

ellen b said...

Oh yum, my kind of comfort food. Thanks for sharing the recipes and methods!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks so much, Ellen! I have lots of bean lunches because my husband isn't a fan!

Cranberry Morning said...

Wow that looks good, and certainly easy enough. Thanks for the translation tip. I love stuff like that. And I'm very sorry that you're allergic to garlic.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Judy, thanks! And thanks for the sympathy - it's a tough allergy to deal with when others are doing the cooking.

Sippity Sup said...

In much of Central and South America this is breakfast and a great way to start the day. GREG

https://www.sippitysup.com/travel-costa-rica-gallo-pinto-is-breakfast-beans/

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Greg. It's a breakfast that suits me just fine!

Richard Sheppard said...

I've been cooking pinto's in my pressure cooker for years and love them! I can't stand caned beans. But I have yet to actually make refried beans. Looks super easy and tasty! And a great alternative to just eating a full pot of whole beans.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Richard. I've used canned pinto beans in a pinch, but they take lots of "doctoring" and time to get the taste of the tin out of them! And the liquid in the can is awful, needs to be drained away - so none of the good bean broth you get with cooking your own.

Sister in the Mid-west said...

Yummy! I love, love, love, homemade refried beans! (I even have an old blog post with my recipe.) They are such a comfort food, for me. Not only do they taste great, they are also, a very cheap meal or meal stretcher. :) Your beans look delicious!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Sister in the Mid-west. My husband won't eat them (he doesn't like "mushy foods"), but I think they're wonderful!

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