Thursday, June 26, 2008

Refried Beans

Refried beans always seemed like such an ironic luxury to me. Like donuts or potato chips, it was always something that was cheap and "common", yet I was never really able to eat, especially not as much as I'd like. Seen as unhealthy or just unusual to order on the the occasions I'd eat Mexican food growing up, I mostly avoided it. Well I've been hankering for it, indeed, and now that I'm an adult, I can eat anything I want! Googling and checking metafilter eventually got me this recipe. The secret ingredient is, incidentally, salt. Seriously, you need a lot of salt for this - it's not just me, I swear.
-Soak 1 cup of dried beans overnight in water
-Quarter 1 small onion and dice half an onion
-Chop about 3 lengths of bacon
-Mince 3 cloves of garlic
-Ready bay leaves, salt, and whole peppercorn

-Place soaked beans in a medium pot and cover with water plus add another inch and a half of water. Put in quartered onion, a couple bay leaves, a tablespoon of peppercorns, and 2 tsp of salt (the water should taste like seawater)

-Simmer for an hour or until beans are ready (they should taste edible but still a bit firm; if you take a couple out of the pot and blow on them, the skin should peel). Drain the beans but reserve about 1/2cup of the water-Meanwhile, fry bacon on medium heat in a large pan until completely crispy and all the fat is in the pan. Remove the bacon and set aside
-Fry the onion in the bacon fat until it starts getting translucent and then add the garlic
-Add the beans and a bit of the water onto the pan and start mashing, add more water to reach desired consistency.-Enjoy on its own or in a burrito

-Some of the recipes called for adding "salt pork" into the pot when cooking the beans. I think this is just a thick, salted and cured pork to add to the taste of the beans. I don't have it so I didn't use it
-I made this a second time and when cooking the beans in the pan, added about a tsp of pico de gallo and a tsp of cumin to give it a bit more flavor and it came out quite tasty.
-This can also be done with tinned beans, just add them at the same step as the cooked beans.

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