My brother discussed with me how to make refried beans last weekend at a family get together and yesterday I tried it! We are having to conserve, conserve, conserve, so we're eating cheap and beans are cheap.
They were easy to make and yummy, too. I also attempted some Mexican rice as well. I think I sauted the rice too long, so I'll have to work on that recipe. But here's the recipe I used to make the refried beans.
2 lbs pinto beans
3 slices bacon
1 large sweet onion (Know what makes an onion sweet? Look for the ones that are "flat-ish")
Soak the beans overnight in lots of water. The next morning drain the beans and put them in a LARGE crock pot with the bacon and chopped onion. Cover everything with enough water to be about 2 inches above your beans. Turn the crock pot on high and go do your housework, or go to work, or read a book, or take a walk...you get the picture. 8 hours didn't seem to be enough, so when my crockpot ran that first cycle, I turned it on again. (Mine turns off after 8 hours) You want the beans to be SUPER soft.
When they are super soft, get out a large skillet and add 2-3 Tbs of some kind of fat. I used Crisco, my brother used bacon grease and butter. I WANTED to use lard to be really authentic, but my grocery store didn't have it and I didn't want to run all over town looking for lard.
Melt the grease and add about 1/2 the beans, mash and salt to taste. They dry up quickly, so use some of the juice from the pot to soften to the consistency you like.
We'll be eating refried beans with EVERYTHING for a few days....
A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.