Alright, I know that a can of refried beans is not very expensive. Also, most of them don’t have too many weird ingredients either. So why make homemade refried beans? My reasons are simple: 1) because you can, 2) you get to control all the variables such as texture and flavor, and 3) a can of refried beans is incredibly similar to dog food in appearance. Besides, this recipe is so easy, you’ll wonder why you ever bothered with cans in the first place.
Okay, let’s gather our ingredients. This is a basic recipe so there are not many. To add more flavor, you can increase the cumin or add some taco seasoning. To add more spiciness, add some cayenne pepper. It is also possible to add some bacon or salt pork if you think that sounds delicious. Start with this simple recipe and add what sounds good to you!
1 pound of pinto beans
1 small onion
2-3 cloves of garlic
1 Tablespoon cumin
salt and pepper to taste
A lot of water
Put your dry beans into the crockpot. I wasn’t sure if this would work without soaking the beans overnight, but it did! One less step, yay!
Dice the onion and garlic (this doesn’t have to be a fantastic job if you plan to use a blender later but if you plan to mash the beans by hand, don’t leave any giant chunks) and dump them on top of the beans. Sprinkle in the cumin, salt, pepper, and any other ingredients you’ve chosen to add.
Add water. You want it to fully cover the beans and then some. I used 7 cups. Remember, the beans haven’t soaked at all and they are going to suck up a LOT of water.
Give everything a good stir and then set your slowcooker on low for 6 hours.
When the 6 hours has elapsed, you want to make sure the beans are fully cooked (no one likes crunchy refried beans). One way to tell if they are done is to look for splitting. Cooked beans will start to split. Another way is to put a bean in your mouth and chew it: crunchy=not done, soft=done.
Now you need to mash the beans, otherwise you won’t have refried beans, you’ll just have beans. You can use a blender, a food processor, a big ol’ spoon, or my personal preference, an immersion blender. Smash or blend to your own texture preference. Some people love a chunky refried bean, but I prefer mine a little more on the smooth side. That’s the great thing about a homemade recipe: you decide how chunky you like it, not the masher at the canning factory.
Done! All that’s left is to wrap it up and enjoy a delicious burrito!