Monday, July 26, 2010

Refried Beans

Let me put this bluntly: I love refried beans. And, while I don't mind using canned ones for adding to burritos and whatnot, I would never eat them straight. Canned refrieds just don't cut it. After hearing a lot of buzz here and there on the internets, I decided to try this recipe, which has gotten stellar reviews (5 stars with 708 people reviewing the recipe). Unfortunately, I was disappointed. I thought they lacked flavor and it wasn't for lack of salt (which, strangely, the recipe calls for before the beans are cooked...I'm guessing that's why they take so long). So, I set about trying to combine this recipe with mine and the results were pretty damn good, if I do say so myself.
"Fat-ish" Refried Beans

1 pound of pinto beans, sorted and rinsed
3 cups of veggie broth
1 onion, quartered
1 California bay leaf
1 piece of kombu
1 t cumin
1 t garlic powder
Fresh ground pepper (to taste)
3 t salt (more or less, to taste)
1/3 cup of oil (I've used olive and canola and liked them both)

In a large bowl (I use the insert to my slowcooker), cover pinto beans with serveral inches of water and let soak overnight. The next day, drain the beans and rinse them. Put them in a slowcooker, add the veggie broth and cover the rest of the way with an inch of water (You can also use all veggie broth or water). Add all the ingredients, except the salt, pepper, and oil. Cook on high for 5 1/2 to 6 hours. Using a ladle remove as much liquid as you can (just try to get the liquid level below the beans) and set the liquid aside. Add oil and salt, and cook for 15 more minutes. Using a hand blender (or mash them with a fork or potato masher), puree the beans, adding the reserved liquid as needed to achieve the desired consistency. I usually like them thinner as a side dish and thicker for the filling of burritos.

Refried beans freeze wonderfully. Just add a little bit of veggie broth as you reheat them, since they will thicken up in the freezer.


Cassie - Vegan Fox said...

The two things that have made our refried beans wonderful this summer are cumin and chili powder. Besides that, I add similar things to what you have listed: veg. broth, tamari, garlic and onion (besides). If you try it and it works, let me know!

thedalyn said...

I might have to try the chili powder. Everything is better with chili powder as far as I'm concerned.