Joe’s vegetarian refried beans

Ingredients: 

White beans (two 16 oz. can or from dried beans but cook them fully first)
Onion—2 cup, coarsely chopped
Garlic—6 cloves, coarsely chopped (NO GARLIC PRESS!!!)
Chili peppers—however many you want
Mexican spice blend (chili powder, paprika, cumin, onion powder, cayenne, coriander seed—come up with your own blend or use the packeted stuff labeled for chili seasoning NOT taco seasoning. Ortega Chili seasoning works perfect for me.)
Tomato—half of one, chopped
Oregano—two teaspoon
Bay leaf—one
Salt, Pepper, Sugar.
Vegetable stock or water

Start with a big scoop of lard. Just kidding. Put some oil in a hot pan with the onion and some salt then cook the onion till slightly caramelized. Throw in the chilies for 1 minute. Add the garlic, oregano, two teaspoons of your chili/Mexican spice mixture and bay leaf, stirring for ONLY 5 seconds before adding the beans. I use a canned variety in a vegetable broth, so I add the whole thing, beans and broth. Add the chopped tomato and a half teaspoon black pepper. Cover with enough liquid (water or stock) to have an inch or so above the beans.

Next is just let it simmer as low as you can get it but still boiling. It’s going to take 2-3 hours for everything to cook down. What you’re looking for is the beans and coarse-chopped onion to have completely broken down. It will be a paste but will still have texture. If you want more bits of onion in your final product, add more (finely) chopped onion about 30 minutes before the beans are done. They will then be cooked but still have discernible bite to them. As the cooking moves on, you will find the bean mush sticking to the bottom of the pan. That is a good thing but you can only let it stay stuck for a few minutes then you should scrap the bottom of the pan and let it stick again. This sticking is really going to caramelizing the bean mixture and will provide a LOT of the flavor of the final dish. Without this step, the beans will be only mediocre.

Once everything is broken down, uncover, taste for seasoning (salt and sweet) and cook until you get the desired texture.

Couple serving suggestions. First off let’s take enchilada/Mexican gravy. To make that, simply take a 16 oz can of tomato juice and add about an entire packet of that chili seasoning (do it to taste, but it should be fairly strongly spiced). Whisk it up good and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add water as necessary to keep the consistency where enchilada sauce should be.

My favorite way to serve these is a simple bean dip. Spread the beans on a shallow baking pan. Cover with enchilada sauce. Cover that with cheese. Bake until that cheese is bubbley and full of cheesy goodness. Serve with chips.

Awesome bean burrito. Make the bean dip as above. Then scoop then beany-cheesy mixture onto a tortilla. Cover with finely chopped onion and some cilantro. Roll into a burrito. Either bake in tin foil individually or lay them out on a shallow baking pan, cover with more sauce and more cheese and bake again. Serve with salsa, guac, sour cream, whatever. BTW, I say do it this way because having the oven-crisped cheese inside a burrito is just awesome!

Also, a meat eater need only sprinkle some of that Mexican seasoning over strips of chicken, pork, fish or poodle, fry really hot and fast, then slip some of that animal flesh in with the beans in the burrito. That’s way better than anything you’ll find at 7-11.

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About Joe Graff

President and co-owner of DC based design studio, icon werx, inc. Lived in Thailand for 8+ years (2003-2011). Rheumatoid arthritis and triple joint replacement patient.
This entry was posted in Mexican, Side Dish, Vegetarian and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Joe’s vegetarian refried beans

  1. Pingback: Smoke Seafood Mexican Canape + Joe’s Salsa recipe + Enchilada Sauce | Joe Graff's Recipe Blog

  2. Pingback: Quick Refried Bean Recipe | Joe Graff's Recipe Blog

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