Tools: Instant pot, or crock pot, or stove top
Prep time: Varies on method
1 pound dried pinto beans, (The lighter in color the better, fresher beans- such as from a bulk source are best) sorted of any broken or shrunken beans or stones, rinsed, and soaked in water overnight. (Discard any floating beans)
1/4 cup shortening or 2 pieces raw bacon
1 tablespoon salt
2 tbsp. all purpose flour (optional)
Instant pot: Pressure cook beans on manual setting thirty minutes. Remove pieces of bacon, use saute function and mash beans with potato masher or immersion blender. Add flour, continue to mash until desired consistency is reached.
Slow cooker: Cook on high 4-6 hours or low 8-10 hours. Please check bean texture ensuring beans are fully cooked! Skins will begin to separate from beans with fully cooked. Remove beans with slotted spoon and transfer to a pan on medium heat. Gradually add existing broth from slow cooker and flour, mashing until desired consistency is reached.
Stove top: Cook beans on medium heat until they are fully cooked. This can take anywhere from 2-3 hours it really depends on many factors. Check beans and add water as needed until fully cooked (skins will begin to separate from beans when done.) Remove beans with slotted spoon and transfer to a pan on medium heat. Gradually add existing broth from slow cooker and flour, mashing until desired consistency is reached.
Gluten free- omit flour and mash, adding water until desired consistency is reached. If desired, substitute 2 tbsp. cornstarch
You may also add onion, jalapeno, cilantro, and garlic to your broth while cooking the beans.
Instead of bacon, you can also substitute a ham bone to bring flavor to your broth.
I have also used black beans and they are excellent!
Tip: Soaking beans overnight before cooking makes them easier on the digestive system.
The first time I had real Refried beans, I had an existential crisis.
What had I been eating from the can all these years? Was it dog food in disguise? I simply could not believe the difference in taste real Refried beans had. This is from someone who omitted rice and ordered double beans at Mexican restaurants.
This is another recipe from my New Mexican oracle- the Mother in Law. An important lesson I learned about beans- taste your broth and season it until you like it before mashing. Your beans are only as good as their broth. And oh, these are good. On a fresh tortilla (with cheese if you can have it,) or with some fried potatoes…or with eggs and Chorizo…I really love Refried beans.
Did I mention they only take 30 minutes in the instant pot? Can you believe it? Hours of checking and stirring condensed into a flavorful thirty minutes. Magic. To buy your own version of the instant pot I use, click here. (Help me get a small commission no matter what you buy!)
See my recipes on Pinterest!