Today I share with you one of my very favorite things. It has become a staple food for me because I literally would like to eat it every single day. And, oddly enough, it is just some beans. Stellar refried beans.
The flavor of these might knock your socks off. Starting with dried beans cooked with bacon, onions, and garlic and finishing with gooey cheese.
I’m not sure I could ever, ever eat them from a can again. Or as a pile of unidentifiable mush at a Mexican restaurant because they really should make these instead of gloppy bean puree.
And cheap!!! Totaling less than $2.00, it makes a great side dish or meal, if you’re like me. On a tortilla as a bean burrito, as a side with Chicken Chimis, inside Baby Burritos, or my personal favorite, straight from the bowl!
Start with dried beans. I use 2 c. of pinto beans. Put them in a good sized pot or bowl and cover them with water. Add in 2 T. raw apple cider vinegar and let it soak at least 24 hours. After 24 hours, rinse them well and remove any weird ones. Soaking and rinsing is how you get rid of all of the anti-nutrients like phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors that not only make you feel miserable after you eat them (ahem…), and it also helps you better absorb the nutrients from the beans. Neat, right?
Now, add the beans to a good-sized pot along with enough water to cover them by an inch or so.
Also, add in 4 slices of bacon, a meaty ham bone or ham hock, or 4 slices of side pork (like bacon but not smoked so it has a little less intense flavor than bacon).
I also add in
1 tsp. salt,
2 cloves chopped garlic,
1 chopped jalapeño pepper (if you’d like less spice, use less pepper and remove the membranes and seeds),
and 1/2 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper.
Bring them to a boil and then turn the heat to low and let them sit, covered for at least 4 hours. Check them every now and then to make sure there is still water covering them. You don’t want a lot of water because you need it to cook down to a thickened kind of gravy around the beans, but there needs to be enough to cover them. If it’s running low, add HOT water.
This is how they end up.
If you used bacon or side pork, just before serving time, fish it out of the beans and chop it into small pieces. If you used ham, fish out the bone to discard.
Melt 1/2 c. butter (1 stick) in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add in 1 chopped onion,
and 3 cloves of chopped garlic,
and the chopped bacon,
and sauté all of it until the bacon is crispy and the onions are translucent.
Using a slotted spoon, collect the beans, leaving the water behind and add them to the hot skillet. Mash with a potato masher until they are as chunky as you’d like them. If needed, loosen them a bit with the leftover water from cooking the beans. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Add in two cups of freshly grated Cheddar cheese. Oh, good heavens. Throw in some diced fresh or jarred jalapeños if that trips your trigger.
YUM!!! I am seriously going to soak beans right now for tomorrow just from typing this post. They are soooo good. Try them on your next Mexican night and see if I’m right. I promise I am.
- 2 c. dried pinto beans
- Water to cover
- 2 T. raw apple cider vinegar
- 4 slices bacon, or side pork, or 1 ham hock
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 jalapeño pepper
- ½ c. butter
- 1 onion
- 5 clove garlic
- 2 c. Cheddar Cheese
- Put dried beans into a pot or bowl and cover them with water. Add in 2 T. raw apple cider vinegar and let them soak for at least 24 hours.
- Rinse well and remove any weird beans.
- Add the beans to a good-sized pot with enough water to cover by an inch.
- Add in bacon, ham hock, or side pork along with salt, chili powder, and pepper.
- Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low and let them simmer, covered for at least 4 hours, checking every not and then to make sure there is still water covering them. Do not over water as you want an end result of thickened *gravy*.
- Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in onion, garlic, and the meat from the pot.
- Saute until the meat is crispy and the onion translucent.
- Using a slotted spoon, collect the beans from the pot saving the water in case it's needed later
- Mash the beans to desired texture and salt and pepper to taste. If needed, loosen them a bit with the leftover water from cooking the beans.
- Add in freshly grated Cheddar cheese as well as jalapeños if desired.