My Grandmother made the best refried beans. She made them every day of the week. Mostly for dinner, and always for my lunch to take to school. I remember wanting the bologna sandwiches that my friends took to school. But Gramm always said "there is nothing better for a growing child than un taco de frijoles".
Gramm used whatever she had on hand, which included her "secret" ingredient. Sometimes she would use vegetable oil, very rarely would she use lard or shortening, but her best refried beans were made using bacon drippings. For a little spice, she would add a chile pepper to flavor the oil while it was heating. Once the beans are heated through is when you mash the beans. No fancy equipment needed here, just a good ol' potato masher! Another secret to great Refried Beans, is letting some of the liquid evaporate. If you're beans get too dry, add a little more bean broth or use Gramm's "secret" ingredient...a splash of milk.
- 2 to 3 tablespoons Vegetable oil, bacon drippings or shortening
- 1 Serrano or Jalapeño pepper or 1 chile de arbol (optional)
- 2 cups Cooked Beans
- 1/2 cup Bean Broth
- Shredded Oaxaca cheese (Mozzarella or String Cheese will do)
- 2 tablespoons milk (optional)
In medium skillet, heat oil and chile pepper over medium-high heat until the skin on the pepper begins to blister.
Carefully add the cooked beans and the broth. Let the beans cook 2 to 3 minutes. Using a potato masher, mash the beans until desired consistency.
Continue cooking beans, stirring occasionally for an additional 3 to 4 minutes, or until some of the liquid has evaporated. Season with salt, if necessary.
If the beans become too dry, stir in the milk or more bean broth. Turn off heat and top beans with shredded cheese. Serve with warm corn or flour tortillas and chile de molcajete. (Tostadas or tortilla chips are also very good!) Enjoy!!!
*Note: Canned beans can be used for this recipe or cook your own. (Click here to learn how!)