Weekend Cooking: Buttery, Buttery Refried Beans

July 19, 2015

Brief, unexpected Weekend Cooking post ahoy! Weekend Cooking is a weekly feature hosted by Beth Fish Reads.

As a Latina (more specifically, a Jewban from South Florida), I've got a long, storied history with beans. Ask me what I miss most about living near Miami, and I will invariably wax poetic about Pollo Tropical's pulled pork (sadly out of reach now, due to newfound vegetarianism), black beans and rice, and plantains. I will probably follow up with an ode to Publix subs and the ability to wear shorts year-round.

Anyway, I'm getting off-topic. Today, my boyfriend and I were inspired to make a veritable butt-load of beans. We prepared the oft-missed Cuban black beans, and they're still simmering away on the stove. However, the refried beans are ready, and... well. They're freaking delicious.

A photo posted by Shaina (@shainareadsbooks) on

They're also absolutely stuffed to the gills with butter. (Those two things are possibly related.) The recipe calls for a lot of fat—oil, butter or lard—so if that isn't your thing, steer clear. But, if so... who are you?

We doubled the following recipe and will be eating these beans until the end of time.

Refried Beans
Adapted from Serious Eats

1/2 pound dried pinto or black beans (note: we soaked these overnight, so we started off with the soaked and drained beans)
2 sprigs fresh epazote or oregano (note: we used one teaspoon of dried oregano)
1 medium white onion, 1/2 minced and 1/2 whole
2 medium cloves garlic
Kosher salt
6 tablespoons lard, bacon drippings, vegetable oil or butter

In a large pot, cover your beans with water (they should be covered by about two inches). Add your herbs, onion half and garlic cloves and bring to boil. Lower the heat to simmer and cook until the beans are very tender, one to two hours. Season beans with salt. Take off heat and drain beans, reserving the cooking liquid. This should leave you with three cups of cooked beans.

In a large skillet, heat your fat of choice and cook minced onions until tender and translucent, about seven minutes. Stir in drained beans and cook for two minutes. Add one cup of reserved bean cooking liquid. Using a masher (chunky) or immersion blender (smooth), purée your beans. (Note: We used an immersion blender for the consistency above.) Reduce heat to medium and cook until your desired consistency is reached. If the beans are too dry, add more of the cooking liquid, a tablespoon at a time.

Do you love refried beans? Hate 'em? Don't care a whit about 'em but also cooked something delicious this weekend? Talk to me!

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  1. I definitely love refried beans, but have never attempted making them myself! I usually just buy some organic ones in a can, and *like* those, so can only imagine how good they are homemade *bookmarks recipe.* This weekend the hubs and I stayed in a cooked all our meals, which hardly ever happens - fish tacos on Friday, homemade pizzas on Saturday, and steak and veggies on the grill today! It's so nice to eat homemade!

  2. I've never had refried beans, but you had me at butter. Do you just eat them on their own, or are they a good side with something in particular?

  3. YUMMMMM. Now you're making me miss Arizona -- I may do up a batch. I cook the beans in in the pressure cooker, which speeds up things a bit.

  4. I was just talking with Graham this week about how I wanted to try making homemade refried beans! Now I have a wonderful looking recipe to try, thank you for sharing!

  5. JoAnn @ Lakeside MusingJuly 20, 2015 at 7:14 AM

    Yum... refried beans... one of the many things I love about south Florida!

  6. Yummy!!! I've never tried making them on my own. I will now have to remedy that mistake.

  7. OMG!!! Now I know why you're so awesome! ;) I'm part Cuban. My Abuelo's family moved to Tampa in the early 1900's from Cuba, but we still had family there until the 70's. Though I grew up moving all over the world, I'll always be a Florida girl at heart, and oh how I miss Publix! I'm also vegetarian, but every once in awhile I cheat and make picadillo :)

  8. The canned ones do just fine, but these... oh MY.

    Whoa, that sounds like an awesome weekend of cooking! We also made homemade pizza on Saturday. :D We fell into a serious rut of takeout right before our vacation, so we're trying to get back to the kitchen with a vengeance.

  9. I'd say they're usually served on the side with Mexican dishes—tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas, etc. But I won't tell anyone if you decide to just eat a bowl of 'em on their own. ;)

  10. Oh, great idea! I really need to invest in one of those.

  11. You're welcome! I hope you get around to it. :)

  12. Right??? I miss it so, but I don't miss the humidity. I get enough of that (though not nearly as bad) here in CT!

  13. It was such a fun project with a DELICIOUS payoff.

  14. Yay! Part-Cuban hermanas. :) It's terrible, but I'm not actually sure if I still have family there... my grandmother came over to Miami when she was 19.

    YES. I'm so glad someone else understands how wonderful Publix is. My boyfriend really doesn't get it at all, and he's been there when we've visited my family. He clearly has a few screws loose.

    Ugh, now I want yucca and carnitas. :(

  15. Guava pastries will be the death of me someday. I will be found next to a stack of books and an open can of Iron Beer with pastry flakes and guava paste with cream cheese smeared all over my face. I'm looking forward to it. You might be able to order yucca from cubanfoodmarket.com. They saved my life when I was overseas.

  16. Pastelitos de guayaba! Ahhh, lady, you're killin' me. We're both going to die like that.