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Refried Beans

Refried Beans

One of the simplest and most satisfying staples in Mexican cooking. Misleadingly called "refried" beans, they are actually boiled then fried. Refried beans can be either spartan or spectacular- use a simple canned bean or make a flavour-filled showstopper with a more complex stewed bean. This recipe is a mix of the two: simple but spicy.


  • 2 Tbsp oil (preferably lard)
  • 1 small onion, diced fine
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced fine
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp New Mexico chile
  • 1 can black or pinto beans or 2 cups Frijoles Charros with cooking water


  1. 1

    Heat oil in a pot and add onion. Sautée for until softened, about 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and sautée for another minute. Add cumin and chiles and cook for another 30 seconds or so.

  2. 2

     Add the beans to the pot and mix well. Using a potato masher, mash the beans in the pot until mostly, but not entirely, smooth. You may need to add some water at this point (ideally use the water from the can or from cooking the beans). Stir.

  3. 3

     Remove from heat and garnish with cheese.