A lot of us grew up on canned Rosarita Refried Beans. They are fine but why not make your own and really get excited by refried beans?
Which beans to use? You literally can use any one you like but the flavor and texture will be different. Some of our favorites for refried beans are Buckeye (aka Yellow Indian Woman), Rio Zape, Moro, Midnight Black, Santanero Negro Delgado, Santa Maria Pinquito, and Cassoulet.
- Start off by slicing 1/2 of a white onion very thin. Place the onion rings in a skillet with about 3 tablespoons freshly rendered lard (or oil) and a pinch of salt, and sauté over medium-low heat until the onion is really soft and limp. If you don't have real lard, use some corn oil or bacon fat. You can even make refrieds with olive oil and while it isn't authentic, it's pretty good.
- To puree the beans, we use a tool called a machacadora (wooden bean masher). Of course, not everyone has one of these at home. You can use a potato masher instead. If you like your kitchen toys, a bean masher is very handy and also does a good job on avocados.
- Add about 2 cups cooked beans and a splash of their cooking liquid to the pan. Allow them to come to a simmer. Take your masher and run it along the pan, mashing some beans and onion together to make somewhat of a paste. Keep doing this until the beans are mostly mashed and the onions have disappeared. Add more bean-cooking liquid as needed. You can do a fine puree or leave a little bean texture, whichever you prefer. When you run the masher and it leaves a trail where you can see the bottom of the pan, you're done. Taste and adjust the seasonings, as desired.
- For Oaxacan beans, use black beans and avocado leaf.
- These beans, on a tortilla with a scant bit of cheese and some salsa, are nothing short of heaven.