Slow Cooked Mexican Beans and/or Refried Beans
Author: Heather Bursch
Adapted from Rick Bayless
  • 1 lb of dried pinto beans (black beans work as well)
  • 2-3 tablespoons of bacon fat or olive oil
  • 5 sprigs (whole stems) of cilantro leaves
  • 1 onion (yellow or white) roughly chopped
  • 1-2 teaspoons of salt, save for the end
Prepping the Beans
  1. Dump the beans on a cookie sheet to pick out any little rocks or oddballs that can sometimes be in a bag of beans.
  2. Soak the beans in a bowl of water to cover for at least an hour or overnight if you wish. Rinse the beans and then proceed with recipe.
Stovetop Instructions
  1. In a large pot pour in the beans, 2½ quarts of water to cover, bacon fat, chopped onions and the cilantro left whole. Bring this to a boil and then turn to simmer to keep the water moving while you cook the beans.
  2. The beans should cook uncovered for 2½ hours and up to an additional hour or so for dry unsoaked beans.
  3. Add water along the way if the beans seem dry on top and are no longer floating.
  4. The beans are done when soft and mashable. If they don't mash in your mouth when you taste them, then keep it going.
  5. When you think they are soft enough and finished cooking, add 1½ teaspoons of salt, stir and cook for 10 minutes more.
  6. Add more salt to taste as needed but only at the end.
Crockpot Instructions
  1. Add beans and 2 quarts of water to a pan and bring to a boil on the stovetop. Once boiling, dump the beans and water, bacon fat, chopped onions and the cilantro left whole. Cook on high for a minimum of 4-6 hours for soaked beans, 6-8 hours for dry beans. Stir in salt at the end and let simmer for a bit longer if you can. Add more salt to taste as needed but only at the end.
Refried Beans:
  1. In a large skillet, melt 2-3 more tablespoons of bacon fat and add 2-3 teaspoons of crushed garlic.
  2. Let the garlic fry and get fragrant for 1 minute.
  3. Add 3½ cups cooked beans in their liquid to the pan.
  4. With a potato masher or fork, sauté and mash the beans, letting the liquid cook down and the beans turn into a mashed refried consistency that you like.
  5. Salt to taste only and serve warm.
Recipe by She Made It She Might at