How many of you love refried beans?  Come on.  Show of hands!  That’s more like it.  Anyway, we were looking to reproduce a restaurant quality refried bean that didn’t rely on bacon drippings, lard, or tallow for flavor.  You know what?  These bad boys turned out to be the best refried beans ever made by anyone…in multiple universes.  We thought that maybe our droopy blood sugar levels contributed to its deliciousness. However, we served them at a party the following day and they were even more delicious.  I’m craving them right now.  I dream about them at night.  I swear the bag of pinto beans crawled out from the cupboard, quietly jumped onto our bed, and gently caressed my cheek as I slept.  I heard my husband murmuring something about “cheesy, bean goodness.”  I have no idea what that was all about, but I think the pintos have a hold of him too.  So, if you dare, give this food version of an earworm (or bean worms. No, FOOD worms….wait, that can’t be good) a try.  Here is a photo to help the drool factor along.

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Keep in mind that this is a healthier version of refried beans.  Traditionally lard is added to the beans for a more authentic flair.  If you are a traditionalist, then by all means add the pig fat lard.  If you’re looking to cut calories without compromising flavor, then try this method.

Slow Cooker Refried Beans

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

3 cups pinto beans, soaked in water for 12 hours with 2 teaspoons baking soda
8 ounces of chicken or vegetable broth (unsalted)
2 1/4 cups water
1 tablespoon coarse salt (use less if using a low sodium broth rather than unsalted)
1 small onion roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 1 clove garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon mild chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon black pepper

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After soaking the beans, rinse them well, drain all water and place into slow cooker.  Add chopped onion, spices, broth and water.  Ideally,  the liquid should be about 1 1/2 inches above the beans.  Set temperature to high and cook for 1 hour.  Reduce heat to low and cook for another 5-6 hours.

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Check the beans for texture.  They should be soft, tender and cooked through, but not overly mushy.

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Some folks like to use bean masher or potato masher to well….mash the beans.

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However, an immersion blender works just fine.  Just give this a whirl for about 30 seconds for a smooth finished product.

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Top with a good quality, sharp cheddar cheese, chopped green onion, and if you’re inclined, some chopped cilantro.  Serve with chips or warmed tortillas and viola!

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All photos on this site were taken by Sabrina S. Baksh and is property of Food as a Metaphor/Regarding BBQ, Inc.

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