***Please remember that while ingredients in recipes are not subject to copyright, the method is. Feel free to re-post these recipes on your site with different instructions and please attribute the (original) recipe, with a link, to A Helping of Hope. Thanks!**
This recipe was adapted from Kitchen Stewardship’s Homemade Limey Refried Beans recipe in The Everything Beans Book. (I highly recommend buying her book for 30 nutritious bean recipes and lots of information on how to cook beans frugally. Katie’s book saved my grocery budget and meal planning so I’m pleased to be an affiliate of hers). If you don’t have the book yet, here is the Helping of Hope variation:
Saute flavoring ingredients; add blended black beans; mix in lemon and salt. A few days before, buy two bags of dry black beans and prepare them using this nutritious soaking method; you’ll have plenty of beans to make this large batch of refried beans. If you are starting with precooked, stored-frozen beans, you may want to halve the recipe to save time.
- 1 – 2 TBSP ghee, butter, or olive oil
- 1 large onion
- 3-6 cloves of Garlic, to taste
- 1/2 to 1 tsp Ground Cumin, to taste
- 1/2 to 1 tsp Oregano, to taste
- 7 cups cooked and drained black beans (room temperature)
- 1 cup chicken stock or bean broth or filtered water
- 1/2 lemon, pulp, juice, and zest
- 1 to 2 tsp Real Salt, to taste
- 1/2 tsp, 1 tsp, 1 TBSP, 1 cup measures
- Food processor
- Pan (no non-stick coatings preferably)
- Fine Grater
- Fork or juicer
- Small bowl
- Warm the pan on medium heat (350F). Add ghee, butter, or oil, making sure not to brown the butter or reach the oil’s smoke-point. Mince onion in the food processor or chop very finely. Add onion to the pan and cook for a few minutes until translucent (or until the eye-watering smell is gone).
- While the onion is cooking, process or finely chop the garlic and add to the pan, followed by the rest of the spices except the salt. Turn the heat down to medium-low to avoid burning the garlic.
- While the onion-garlic mixture is cooking, process the beans and stock (or broth/water) into as fine a paste as you can. (Even with a large blender or food processor, I had to do this in two batches; each time I combined 3 and 1/2 cups of room-temperature beans with 1/2 cup of stock or broth, blended them into a paste using my food processor, and emptied the paste into the pan. If you have a little processor, you may need to do this in four batches) After the beans and stock have been processed together, pour the bean paste into the pan and mix it into the onions and garlic.
- Increase heat to medium and stir often until the desired thickness is obtained. While the beans are reducing, juice half of a lemon over a small bowl by rotating a fork inserted into the fleshy side of the lemon half. Completely gut the lemon half, pulp and all, and pull out any seeds that fall into the bowl. With a fine grater, grate the lemon peel on the gutted half until there is no yellow left and place “zest” into the bowl of lemon juice and pulp.
- When the beans are heated through to the consistency that seems right for you (I like it thicker, which takes 5 to 10 minutes), turn off the heat; add the bowl of lemon juice and zest to the beans and then add the salt. These beans are wonderful on sourdough tortillas with grated cheese for Bean Quesadillas.
If you’re in a hurry to store the Refried Beans and they are still hot, go with glass jars. 1.5 cups (12 oz.) is enough for making 1 batch of Bean Quesadillas for my family, but you may find it more useful to store the Refried beans in 1 or 2 cup amounts. When the Refried Beans are cool, you can store them, flat, in small freezer bags. Having a thin bag of beans comes in handy for a quick defrost! You can fold the freezer bag, accordion-style, to make smaller sections of frozen Refried beans; if you only need a small amount, you can pull the “beansicle” out of the bag and thaw it quickly. If you freeze your jar of beans, make sure to leave room for them to expand (i.e. please don’t fill the jar all the way to the top with beans); a jar of frozen Refried Beans can take 1-2 days to thaw in the ‘fridge.