One of my jobs as a kid, was to help my Mom in the kitchen. The jobs were pretty easy, chopping mostly. My favorite job was when I was asked to help clean the dried pinto beans. Many times purchased in bulk, 5 pounds at a time, they contains broken beans and small stones. I remember sitting across the kitchen table from my Mom and we would spread the beans out onto the table in between us. In no time those beans we free and clear of all stones and broken beans. I could still hear the sound of the beans as we pushed them into that large, empty stainless steel pot. This one pot of beans would take us through many meals. On this blog post, I share with you a few of my favorite recipes prepared with homemade beans.
Frijoles de la Olla
3 cups of dry pinto beans
1 medium white onion, quartered
1 whole bulb garlic
2 bay leaves
1 serrano or jalapeño
2 chile de arbol
salt to taste
1. Clean and then soak the beans overnight.
2. Drain and rinse the next day.
3. Cover with water, 3 inches above beans.
4. Add aromatics
5. Bring to a simmer. Partially covered, keep at a simmer for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until beans become tender. If water level get low, add a little more hot water. Add salt to taste once beans are tender. Remove aromatics. Yields about 8 cups.
Tips~ Remove aromatics and cool completely before storing in an airtight container. They will keep in the refrigerator for a week or divide into 2 cup portions with enough broth to cover and freeze in airtight containers or quart size freezer bags.
Most asked question I get about beans is, “How do I get a more flavorful refried beans?”
Natural rendered pork lard can be found in most well stocked Mexican markets or Mexican carniceria(meat market). The key words are natural rendered. I confess that mom did use the lard that comes in a box because it was easy to find and kept in the refrigerator forever, lol! If that is all you can find, it’s ok, but it won’t have as much flavor as the natural rendered lard. Bi misconception about lard is that it’s unhealthy and bad for you. Any oil, or fat, in excess is not good. But the natural rendered lard is better than the boxed, better than vegetable or canola oil. It’s a fact. Your are not cooking like this everyday and you are not eating the whole pan of refried beans, right? All in moderation.
Get the printable, easy refried beans recipe at the end of the post!
Frijoles con Chorizo
1 tablespoon of pork manteca or oil of your choice
1 cup uncooked Mexican chorizo (I used homemade chorizo which has less fat, so I added some for cooking). Search under chorizo in categories for homemade chorizo recipes
1/3 cup white onion, diced
1 serrano, minced
3 cups whole pinto beans in their broth (about 1 cup bean broth)
Pinch of cumin, optional
*Crumbled Queso Fresco for garnish
1. In a large skillet, heat manteca(lard) to medium heat. Add the chorizo and cook for 6 to 8 minutes.
2, Add the onions and chile and cook for another 4 minutes. Add the beans and broth. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer.
3. After they simmer for about 5 minutes, mash with a potato masher until desired consistency. If the beans become too dry, add a little more broth or water. Bring on the homemade flour tortillas and avocado! Yields 6 servings.
Tips~ For a smoother bean, you could blend the beans in their broth on high before adding them to the cooked chorizo/onion mixture.
Frijoles Borrachos, Charros, A la Charra (aka Drunken Beans) …..Just serve me a bowl already! LOL!
4 cups cooked pinto beans
1 cup broth from beans
7 strips of bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 serrano chile, sliced into thick rings or minced
1 small white onion, diced
Handful of chopped cilantro
12 oz of a light beer
salt and pepper
Oil, manteca, canola or olive oil
1. In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon of oil of your choice. Add the bacon and cook until browned. Add the onions, chile serrano and cilantro, stir well to combine.
2. Add the beans, liquid from the beans and the beer. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste, stir, cover and cook for a good 20 to 25 minutes. Taste for salt.
Tips~ If you wanted to prepare these without beer, I like to replace the beer with low sodium chicken or beef broth. Garnish with lime wedges, cilantro, crema (Mexican cream) and warm tortillas or tostadas. These beans were always made with carne asada…
Kicked Up Smoked Ham and Beans
2 cups dried pinto beans(soaked overnight), washed and drained
1 cup diced onion
2 serranos, minced
3 chile de arbol
4 cloves garlic, smashed
Smoked ham bone
2 cups diced smoked ham
3 roma tomatoes, diced
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
1. Add the first 6 ingredients to a large dutch oven pot and cover with water 3 to 4 inches above the beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and continue cooking for 2 hours or until beans become tender.
2. Once beans are tender, add all the remaining ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper and cook for another 25 minutes. Yields up to 8 servings.
Frijoles Refritos con Chile Colorado
3 cups pinto beans (cooked) with their broth
5 to 6 chile ancho, stems and seeds removed
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
Salt to taste
1 cup chicken broth or more bean broth
2 tablespoons pork manteca (lard) or oil of your choice
1. Transfer the chile ancho to a glass bowl. Cover with water and cook in the microwave for 7 to 9 minutes, turning halfway through cooking time. Remove from microwave and let cool slightly.
2. While the chiles are cooling, in a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoon of manteca (lard) or oil to medium heat. Add the beans and bring to a simmer. Drain the chile anchos and transfer to the blender. Add the cumin, oregano, garlic, salt to taste, and ½ cup water or chicken broth. Blend on high until smooth, set aside.
3. Add the chile ancho sauce to the beans, stir well to combine. When it comes to a boil, add the other ½ cup or more of chicken or bean broth and reduce heat to a low simmer, stirring often. Taste for salt and while the beans are simmering, mash with a potato masher until desired texture. Cook until liquid is reduced by half.
- Large skillet
- 2-3 tablespoons Natural rendered pork lard or you can use your favorite cooking oil
- 1/2 cup Onion, diced
- 1 Large Serrano pepper, minced some like to add a few whole chile de arbol too!
- 4 cups Fresh cooked pinto beans with some broth
- Salt, to taste
- In a large skillet, preheat the pork manteca(or oil) at medium heat for a few minutes.
- Saute the onion and serrano for a good 6-7 minutes so it flavors the manteca(or oil).
- Pour in the beans with broth. Stir well to combine and let everything come up to a light simmer.
- After the beans simmer for about 7-8 minutes, use a bean masher or potato masher to cream the beans to the desired consistency. I like mine a little coarse. Continue cooking the beans, stirring as needed until beans reduce and become slightly thicker. Taste for salt. If you like everything really smooth, you can blend all the ingredients after saute in the blender. Add them back to the skillet and cook them until thick.