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Slow Cooked Mexican Beans and/or Refried Beans

Adapted from Rick Bayless
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  • 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

  • Dump the beans on a cookie sheet to pick out any little rocks or oddballs that can sometimes be in a bag of beans.
  • 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

  • In a large pot pour in the beans, 2 1/2 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.
  • The beans should cook uncovered for 2 1/2 hours and up to an additional hour or so for dry unsoaked beans.
  • Add water along the way if the beans seem dry on top and are no longer floating.
  • The beans are done when soft and mashable. If they don't mash in your mouth when you taste them, then keep it going.
  • When you think they are soft enough and finished cooking, add 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, stir and cook for 10 minutes more.
  • Add more salt to taste as needed but only at the end.

Crockpot Instructions

  • 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:

  • In a large skillet, melt 2-3 more tablespoons of bacon fat and add 2-3 teaspoons of crushed garlic.
  • Let the garlic fry and get fragrant for 1 minute.
  • Add 3 1/2 cups cooked beans in their liquid to the pan.
  • 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.
  • Salt to taste only and serve warm.
Author: Heather Bursch