Frijoles Refritos

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours 5 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 6
Author: Olives & Okra
This recipe is entirely from The El Paso Chile Company's Texas Border Cookbook, by W. Park and Norma Kerr.
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Ingredients

For frijoles de olla

  • 2 pounds dried pinto beans picked over
  • About 3 quarts water
  • 1/4 pound sliced bacon chopped
  • 1 medium onion coarsely chopped
  • 2 or 3 dried red chile pods rinsed, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves peeled and chopped
  • 4 teaspoons salt

For frijoles refritos

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 cups frijoles de olla with their liquid

Instructions

For frijoles de olla

  • In a large bowl, cover the beans with cold water and let stand 5 minutes. Stir thoroughly and pour through a strainer. Rinse well under cold running water. Repeat this twice.
  • In a tall 6- to 8-quart stockpot, combine the beans with enough cold water to cover by about 4 inches. Stir in the bacon, onions, chile pods, and garlic and set over medium heat. Bring just to a boil, then lower the heat, partially cover the pan, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 2 hours. Stir in the salt and continue to simmer until the beans are very tender and the cooking liquid is thick, about 1 hour more.
  • Adjust the seasoning. Serve the beans immediately or cool them to room temperature and cover. The beans can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

For frijoles refritos

  • In a large nonstick skilled over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add 1 cup of the beans, and using a potato masher, crush them to a rough purée. Cook them, stirring them often with a wooden spoon, until thick, about 5 minutes. Repeat this with the rest of the frijoles, always adding them 1 cup at a time, mashing them, and then simmering them until thick before adding the next cup. The beans are done when the puree is thick and creamy—unless you like drier refritos, in which case you should fry them another 5 minutes or so, stirring constantly. The beans can be cooked in advance and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Thin them with a bit of water and reheat them in a microwave oven or in a heavy pan over low heat, stirring often.