Homemade Refried Beans — Slow Cooker Style
- 1 onion, peeled and halved
- 3 cups dry pinto beans
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 t. salt
- 1 3/4 t. fresh ground black pepper ( I just threw some on)
- 1/8 t. ground cumin
- 9 cups water
Rinse the beans, throw out the ones that float to the top. Mix them with the rest of the ingredients in the slow cooker.
Cook on low overnight…
I had these going by 7:00 in the evening. I intended to take them off the heat first thing in the morning… But I kind of got going with my day and forgot, so they ended up slow cooking for about 15 hours.
While I was reading up on homemade recipes for refried beans, one of the comments mentioned that, the older the beans are, the longer they need to soak. I’ve had these pinto beans lying around for at least six months. The first recipe I tried with them (and the reason I bought them) was liked by no one, and I haven’t had the inclination to touch them again until now.
Now I can’t help but wonder: How old were they when I bought them? Maybe they were already old from the get-go and I didn’t soak them long enough that first time and that’s why the recipe didn’t turn out.
Who knows? My point is — not only was 15 hours not too long for them to slow cook; it’s very possible these beans needed that extra time.
Whatever the reason, they turned out scrumptious. Really. Better than the canned, in my opinion.
First, though, I drained them, reserving the liquid in a separate bowl in case I needed to add some later.
I took out the onion chunks, too –they’re just for marinating, people.
When I saw what I was left with, I really wondered if I had just wasted 65 cents worth of pinto beans and the 10 minutes of my time I had invested into preparing them (including taking pictures).
I started smashing them into mush with a potato masher. I quickly wondered what on earth I was thinking and switched to a stick blender, just stuck it right there in the pot they slow cooked in.
And cheaper, too. I am so not a number-crunching connoisseur, but I would wager that these ingredients do not total more than $1.00.
This recipe made about six cups.
Can you tell I’m not Type-A?
And I really should just store them in the fridge: I go through about a can a week around here. I think I just wanted to revel in my Becky-Homeckyness like I’m someone who routinely cooks in bulk from scratch to store up a cache of food.
Not only were these beans cheap and tasty, I’ll warrant they’re healthier, too. Have you ever tried a can of organic refried beans? Did you notice how different the consistency was from the regular non-organic? I don’t even want to think about which of those unpronounceable preservatives causes the changes in texture and consistency; I tried to buy more organic back before the first time we lost our tenants in our rental house, before I woke to reality and realized it just wasn’t in the budget.
Now “organic” refried beans are not only in the budget, they even help it!
Do you have a homemade refried bean recipe you love? Feel free to share it in the comments! Never tried to cook dried beans before? I highly recommend giving these a try. If I can do it, really, truly, anybody can.