Chef John's Refried Beans
Chef John says the key to great refried beans is to make them with lard. Serve on, with, or in nachos, layered dips, quesadillas--the possibilities are endless.
Santa Maria-style beans are made with a variety of pink pinquito beans that are cooked in a spicy, smoky sauce spiked with two kinds of pork.
We spent a year in Mexico on our sailboat and when we returned to the US I had more or less given up on getting the excellent refried beans we had enjoyed so much south of the border. I just kept trying to doctor up canned refried beans from Costco. I should have known better. Any refried beans that advertise themselves to be fat free sort of miss the point. When I looked at Chef John's recipe it looked like a lot of work but it was a rainy Sunday so I persevered. Fortunately I had some manteca (lard) on hand because I was planning on making some tamales. These beans are absolutely incredible and as good as we had in Mexico. They are not as much work as I anticipated but you do end up with a lot of beans. I am trying to freeze some in vacuum sealed bags. If that does not work Ill pressure can them.
It's personal, but for my next batch I'll probably drop to one Serrano instead of two. Of course, the Serrano's I bought we're rather large. Excellent and easy recipe. I doubt we'll ever eat canned again. I cooked the beans in a pressure cooker, so I didn't need to soak them overnight and it only took 45 minutes to cook the beans. I highly recommend a pressure cooker. My wife is still raving about how delicious this recipe is.
My family will never eat canned refried beans again. This was excellent.
I followed this recipe exactly with the exception of making it in the instant pot. I sautéed the onions, pepper and garlic in the lard, added the rest of the ingredients and cooked 35 minutes--High pressure, Natural release. They are so tasty! I think it's all that lard.
Delish! I pureed in food processor real quick..