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Refried Pinto Beans

With their dollop of richness from lard or other fat, refried beans satisfy the universal need to feel full and happy. Though refried black beans are fashionable these days, it’s hard to beat big, creamy, crushed refried pintos.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 2 hours

Yield: 4 servings

2 cups dried pinto beans

8 1/2 cups water

1/2 cup lard or vegetable oil

1 large yellow onion

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

  1. Wash the pinto beans in a colander under the sink.

  2. Spread the beans out on a cookie sheet or counter.

  3. Pull out and discard any stray dirt, stones, or shriveled beans.

  4. Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan.

  5. Add the beans.

  6. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook, skimming foam from the top occasionally, approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes.

    To test for doneness, taste three or four of the smaller beans. They should be cooked through and creamy inside.

  7. Mash the beans, along with the liquid in the pot, with a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon until creamy.

  8. Dice the onion.

  9. Heat the lard or vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.

  10. Sauté the onion with the salt and pepper until golden brown, about 10 minutes.

  11. Add the mashed beans and cook, stirring occasionally.

    Cook until the liquid evaporates and the beans form a mass that pulls away from the sides and bottom of the pan, about 10 minutes.

  12. Serve immediately.

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