Sunday, 17 June 2012

Frijoles Refritos

"I like refried beans. That's why I wanna try fried beans, because maybe they're just as good and we're just wasting time. You don't have to fry them again after all."
Mitch Hedberg

Well, I learned something new this week, bean week at our cooking club, and that is: refried beans, or frijoles refritos, are not fried twice or over and over like the name suggests to our English ears, but well cooked as the Spanish re refers to. Huh!

I also learned that if you accost Spanish speaking people in the supermarket to ask where they shop for Mexican ingredients.... you should probably find out if they are actually Mexican first. In other news.. I met a lovely Chilean couple today. They send their love.

So I made these delicious refried beans. Frijoles refritos for those of us (now) in the know. I am lazy and did the brothy bean part in the slow cooker on high for 4 hours and got the same results as Rick without heating up the house first. Don't forget to soak them overnight first! You can use canned, but dried ones have better flavour and texture.

I served these delicious beans on the deck, pub style. A dish of delicious frijoles refritos with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of cheese, surrounded by sliced grilled sausage, veggies and tortilla chips. Delicious!

Make sure to have plenty of cervezas on hand too, of course.


Frijoles Refritos
From Rick Bayless' book, Mexico One Plate at a Time
online recipe source: What Did You Eat?

For the Brothy Beans

1 pound (about ½ cups) dried beans (any color you wish from black to red, tan, white or speckled) (I used pinto)
2 Tablespoons rich tasting pork lard (or even bacon drippings or fat rendered from chorizo sausage) or Vegetable oil
1 medium white onion, chopped
1 large sprig fresh epazote (optional but delicious - especially with black beans)

1. Preparing Simple Boiled Beans- Frijoles de la Olla.

Though beans in the United States are sold very clean, it's always a good idea to pour them out onto a baking sheet and sort through them, removing any little stones or debris you encounter; scoop the beans into a colander and rinse.

Pour the beans into a deep medium-large (4-6 quart) pot (preferably a heavy Dutch oven or Mexican earthenware olla). Measure in 2½ quarts water, then remove any beans that float (they are the ones that are not fully formed). Add the fat or oil, onion and the optional epazote. Bring to a strong rolling boil, then reduce the heat (low to medium-low on most stoves) to keep the liquid at a very gentle simmer- any more than a slight rolling movement will cause the beans to break up during cooking. Set a cover slightly askew and gently simmer, adding water as needed to keep the liquid level roughly the same, until the beans are thoroughly tender, about 2 hours.

Stir in 1½ teaspoons salt and simmer for 15 minutes longer to allow the salt to be absorbed, then taste and season with additional salt if you think you necessary. The beans are now ready to be served or to be mashed and fried for refritos.

Frijoles Refritos

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, lard, bacon or chorizo drippings
1 medium white onion chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
4 cups undrained, seasoned cooked beans, slightly warm
Salt, to taste
½ cup crumbled Mexican queso fresco, queso anejo, pressed
salted farmers cheese, dry feta or Parmesan, for garnish

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until deep golden, about 10 minutes.

Stir in the garlic, cook for a minute or so, then use a slotted spoon to scoop in about ¼ of the beans, leaving most of the liquid behind. Mash the beans into a coarse puree.

Add another portion of the beans, mash them in, and continue until all the beans have been added and coarsely mashed.

Add about a cup of bean liquid or water and stir frequently over the heat until the beans are still a little soupy (they’ll thicken as they sit). Taste and season with salt if needed.

Yield: 6 servings
Rick Bayless @IHCC button rounded IHCC