Monday, August 30, 2010

Refried Beans

Living in the southwestern United States, one thing that we are blessed to have is excellent and authentic Mexican food.  Since I enjoy cooking, re-creating this food in my own kitchen is a must.  Before we get started on the recipe, I will share with you the secret to authentic, delicious Mexican food: Lard.  Yes, it must be lard.  Yes, it really does make a difference in the taste.  No, you really can't substitute.  No, it won't kill you to use it.  Okay, now that we've sorted all that out, let's get started.

You will need:
1 lb. of dried beans (pinto beans are traditional, but you can make it with other types.  For this recipe I used small red beans and navy beans, in the past I've used black beans.  Feel free to experiment.)
1/4 - 1/2 C. of lard
fresh garlic cloves, to taste
water (or stock of your choice)
salt, to taste

Rinse and sort the beans, then soak overnight and cook according to package directions.  Drain and set aside.  Place the lard in a large saut√© pan.

Mince the garlic and add it to the pan.

Add the beans to the pan, as well. 

Turn the heat to medium high, and keep stirring everything together so it doesn't burn. The lard will melt, the beans and garlic will start cooking, and your house will begin to smell amazing.

When the beans have started splitting, get out your potato masher and coarsely mash those beans.  Then add the water (or stock).  Add enough that the beans can continue to cook and become creamy as the liquid evaporates, but not so much that they are swimming.  When it's done it will look a little something like this:
Serve warm with some cheddar cheese melted on top, a dollop of sour cream, and a spoonful of salsa or sprinkle on some chopped green onions.  So easy, so tasty.  Make some tonight.

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