Continuing on this week’s Mexican food theme, I am going to urge and implore you to make these homemade refried beans. Such a dish had previously resided on my “How Nice That You Have the Time to Make This From Scratch, But I Will Be Sticking to Store-Bought” list. This list includes things like pie crust (no, Lil Sis, it is not “so easy”), pizza crust, tortilla chips, and bread (I clearly have a fear of homemade bread products, thank you very much). But the list doesn’t include refried beans…not anymore.
These beans don’t really take much extra time. In isolation, maybe, but I always make them as a side dish, meaning they can be prepared simultaneously with other items. Also, they are really, really good. Why? Well, because of the bacon drippings. It gives the beans this creamy taste that I recognize from my favorite soup that also has bacon drippings in it (nicknamed “Crack Soup” by BK because I cannot stay away from the leftovers) . Just go with it…while bacon drippings are not healthy, neither are all the preservatives in canned refried beans. The tradeoff is easily justified.
If you don’t have any bacon drippings sitting around, go ahead and cut up a couple slices of bacon and cook them for the first step below. Then saute the onion with the drippings and bacon and proceed along!
2 teaspoons bacon drippings
½ medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
⅔ cup chicken broth
½ teaspoon cumin
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
salt and pepper to taste
2-3 tablespoons grated Monterey Jack cheese
1 green onion, thinly sliced
Heat bacon drippings in a medium skillet set over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and continue cooking for an additional minute until fragrant. Add the broth, cumin and beans and bring to a light boil. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Use a fork or potato masher to mash beans to desired consistency, adding more chicken broth as needed and salt and pepper to taste. Once plated, top with cheese and green onion and serve.
Makes 1½ cups.