This one time, I had proper refried beans in a burrito in California. With a handmade tortilla. I think I cried from sheer joy, I don’t really remember. It’s possible. Likely, in fact. But it sure was a spiritual experience.
I’m happy with the canned refried beans, really I am. Especially when doctored up and made delectable. I’m probably still searching for that ultimate bean experience though. It’s imprinted into my soul.
I’m inclined to cook the pinto beans in stock sometimes also. To me it just adds that extra depth of flavour I’m searching for, and in my mind adds an extra layer of veggie vitamin goodness.
You really can put what you like in at the end – beans are such a subjective issue!
Homemade Refried Beans
2 cups dried pinto beans, soaked for several hours
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
2 tbsp salsa
2 tbsp sriracha chili sauce
salt to taste
pinch of sugar
1. Put the soaked and drained beans in a pot and cover with water to about an inch above the beans. Add the bay leaf and bring to a boil.
2. Put the lid on and simmer 1 hour.
3. Pour the beans into a bowl and heat the olive oil in the pot. Saute the onion and garlic a few minutes until soft.
4. Add cumin and chilli and cook 1 minute.
5. Ladle the beans and about 1/2-3/4 cup of the cooking water into the pot. Mash with a potato masher until soft.
6. Stir with a wooden spoon quite firmly until beans break down and become a thick paste. Add the salsa, sauce, salt and sugar.
7. Check for seasoning and ensure the beans are the right consistency for you. Add some cooking water if they are too stiff.