This is the modern, vegetarian version of my Great-Grandma's refried beans' recipe. Real butter replaces bacon fat (manteca). I hope you enjoy these beans!
- 1 lb pink beans (pinto beans or black beans can be substituted)
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1⁄2 cup onion, plus
- 2 tablespoons onions, finely minced
- 1 bay leaf
- black pepper
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
- 1⁄2 teaspoon liquid smoke, scant
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons real butter
- salt, to taste
- oil, for frying
- scallion, sliced
- shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
- Soak beans at least 4 hours or up to 12 hours in plenty of water. (I soak the beans in the crock pot.).
- Add to the beans one of the garlic cloves, finely minced, 2 tablespoons of the onion, bay leaf and a dash of black pepper.
- Cover and cook on HIGH for 2-3 hours (or until beans start to boil) then cook on LOW for approximately 5-6 additional hours. Or cook on LOW all day for about 9-10 hours.
- Once cooking time has commenced, check to see if beans are soft. DO NOT drain!
- Heat a cast iron skillet* on medium heat and saute the onion, other garlic clove, cumin powder, and oregano in a little bit of oil. With a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked beans to the skillet and begin by mashing using a potato masher. Add some reserved cooking liquid to help mash; mashing to desired consistency. (I puree most of the beans as we like our beans on the soupy side.).
- Once the beans are mashed to your liking, stir in the liquid smoke and butter, and about 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring constantly until butter is melted. Taste and adjust all seasonings. You will probably need more salt.
- Serve and garnish each serving with a sprinkle of grated cheddar cheese and some green onion slices.
- Save about 2 cups of the reserved cooking liquid for reheating the refried beans. DO NOT use water to rehydrate!
- *Cast iron will alter the color of the beans. This does NOT effect the taste.