There is something about making refried beans from scratch that makes them taste better. Traditionally, people think of them as having a lot of lard, but they don’t have to be made that way at all! The next time you plan on Mexican for dinner, give this a try.
Water/Low Sodium Vegetable Broth
4 Tb Bacon Drippings (optional)
sautéed Onions (optional)
This is a type of recipe I refer to as a Dump Recipe. Absolutely no measuring is required, you simply dump the ingredients in depending on how much you want to use.
Pour desired amount of pinto beans into the crock pot. Pour in enough water till the beans are covered by about 1 inch. You may have noticed that I mentioned vegetable broth in the ingredients list. You don’t need it, but it will add another level of flavor to the end product. Do NOT add salt, it can prevent the beans from getting soft. If using a broth, soak the beans overnight in water to begin the softening process. Even tho I use a low sodium broth, I prefer to take no chances the salt will keep my beans hard after cooking all day, hence the overnight soak. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.
When you first take off the lid, it will appear to have too much liquid remaining in the beans. However, once you begin to mash them. (by hand or with a small beater) the liquid will soak up into the beans. Now is when I add the bacon drippings for a little more flavor. Again, it is entirely optional if you prefer to keep the beans lower in fat. Taste the beans and decide how much salt and pepper you would like to add. If you happen to have some sautéed onions left over, toss them in while mashing.
If using as a side dish say with chimichangas, sprinkle with cheddar cheese and replace the lid. It will take 10 to 15 minutes to melt. Otherwise use with your favorite taco, burrito or Mexican Lasagna.
I usually make a bag at a time which provides leftovers. To reheat, you may need to add a little water if the beans seem a bit dry.