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Pati Jinich

You will find that refried beans are one of the most common sides for traditional Mexican dishes. From breakfast, to dinner, they are always a welcome companion. You can make them with different kinds of beans, like Black, Pinto,  or Peruvian. The choice in Mexico varies among regions but also among cooks. I tend to use the Pintos more, because they have a creamier consistency and softer flavor. The Black, delicious as well, have a stronger flavor and texture. The Peruvian have a peculiar flavor, that is hard to define, but it is stronger than the Pintos and lighter than the Black.

You can make the Refried beans in a traditional way, which is by mashing the Frijoles de Olla in the pan with onion that has been sauteed in lard, or you can substitute for oil. You can also make quicker and smoother Refried beans, by skipping the mashing part, and placing the Frijoles de Olla in the blender, to make a smooth Bean puree that you can then thicken and season.

Aside from a side, Refried beans are used to make many things like Tortas, Molletes, Tacos, Quesadillas and Dips.

Beans Refried Bens 2.jpgRefried beans are absolutely delicious on their own, with corn tortillas and pickled jalapenos.  They also can be turned into many dishes such as charros beans.

REFRIED BEANS
Makes about 4 cups

You can choose if you want your beans the traditional way, which takes a little bit more effort as you have to mash them as they season and thicken. Or you can opt for an easier and faster way, which doesn’t have that rough textured feel, but it is much smoother.

For traditional refried beans:

INGREDIENTS
5 cups Beans from the Pot or Frijoles de Olla, along with 2 cups of their cooking liquid (or 5 cups precooked beans with 2 cups their liquid and water to make 2 cups)
1/2 cup white onion, chopped
3 tablespoons safflower oil
Kosher or sea salt to taste

TO PREPARE
In a large saute pan over medium heat, pour the oil and heat until hot but not smoking, about 1 to 2 minutes.  Add the onions and let them saute for about 3 to 4 minutes, until they have softened, become translucent and have started to slightly brown along the edges.

Add a cupful of beans at a time, over the sauteed onion, and mash with a masher, like a potato masher, until you have added all of the beans.

Let them season and thicken for about 8 to 10 minutes, and continue mashing and stirring, until they have achieved a thick puree consistency and are somewhat pasty looking.

For smooth and easy refried beans:

INGREDIENTS
6 cups basic bean puree
3 tablespoons safflower or corn oil
1/2 cup white onion, chopped

TO PREPARE
In a large saute pan over medium high heat, pour the oil and heat until hot but not smoking, about 1 to 2 minutes.  Add the onions and let them saute for about 3 to 4 minutes, until they have softened, become translucent and have started to slightly brown along the edges.

Add the bean puree over the sauteed onion, and let them season and thicken for about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  If the beans are bubbling way too much, lower the heat a little to medium-low heat.  Let them continue thickening, until they have achieved a thick puree consistency and are somewhat pasty looking.  It depends on your liking, some people like them thicker and some people like them with a softer consistency.  While it depends on how you like them, they are mostly cooked until they can hold a shape when scooped with a spoon.


Comments

This is the first time I have made refried beans without the lard. I used Peruvian beans for the first time as first time as well. The beans tasted amazing. No soaking either? Woo Hoo! Thank you for sharing this recipe. I think this will be something I can make often to get more beans in our diet.


Hi, i just read your comment.I am from peru and would love to know what kind of peruavian beans did u used?
thanks


I’m new to your page and I fell in love! I love Mexican food and anything spicy. I was wondering if you know how to make a bean dip. There is this Mexican restaurant in Rahway nj called Beanas and they make an amazing bean dip. I order it at least 2 times per month for 10 years now. I know they use refried beans, cheese, sour cream and pickled jalopinos. I’ve tried making it and can’t seem to get it right. I am New to the kitchen by the way. Any recipe ? Thank you !

Hi Anna, I’m so happy you found my website! I will try to do some research on the bean dip for you and post a recipe. I hope you will find plenty of recipes here to try in the meantime. Thank you so much for writing to me!! With all my best…



Miss Pati, as a graduate student wandering around Guatemala, I learned of one of the best flavor combinations in the New World. With your book, I have duplicated it here at home, much to my satisfaction.

Tortilla, refried beans and natilla (Queso fresco?) What a medley!

Thankfully, in my town, we can by nixtamalizado tortillas…critical to the magical outcome. Without the good tortilla, forget about it. And, at the same store, they have the Latino queso crema or natilla. After that, use Pati’s way of making the frijollitos, and, OMG.

So, I’m wondering if you could run across town and urge the Smithsonian to recognize this simple and fabulous dish as one of the great contributions to civilization to come from the New World.

Vaya pues…


Hi Pati! I tried your recipe for Frijoles de Olla, and then made a purée. Then refried beans the soft way. Oh so good! I added a few smashed cloves of garlic, and a bay leaf to the pot and fished them out with the onion before I began cooking them down with the sautéed onions. Oh, I used coconut oil to sauté instead of lard or oil. Then fresh tortillas made with masa harina and some quest fresco and a yummy treat was to be had. In fact I ate 3 and it was dinner with some orange juice spiked with some cayenne! Thank you so much for all you give to us! Mateo

Gracias, Mateo! You are making me soooo hungry.




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