My friend Katie E. has been on a quest to make her own refried beans. Their family has been going through potty-training and she has been looking at ways to improve her daughter's fiber intake. Mostly through beans :) Katie keeps asking me how to make homemade refried beans. I admit, I have never tried. I have no issues with them, it just isn't something that I typically think about making as a side dish. I think I'll attempt them in the future, but Katie, here is a recipe I found online.
2 1/2 cups of dry pinto beans (about 1 lb or 450gm)
3 quarts of water
1/2 cup chopped onion (optional)
2 Tbsp pork lard, bacon fat, or olive oil (for vegetarian option)
1/4 cup water
Salt to taste
Cheddar cheese (optional)
1. Rinse the beans in water and remove any small stones, pieces of dirt, or bad beans.
2. Cook the beans in water.
Pressure Cooker method Put beans into a 4 quart pressure cooker with a 15 lb weight. Fill up the pressure cooker with water, up to the line that indicates the capacity for the pot. Cook for 30-35 minutes - until the beans are soft and the skins are barely breaking open.
Regular method Put beans into a pot and cover beans with at least 3 inches of water - about 3 quarts for 2 1/2 cups of dry beans. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to simmer, covered, for about 2 1/2 hours. The cooking time will vary depending on the batch of beans you have. The beans are done when they are soft and the skin is just beginning to break open.
Strain the beans from the cooking water.
3. Add the onions and lard/fat/oil to a wide, sturdy (not with a flimsy stick-free lining) frying pan on medium high heat. Cook onions until translucent. (Note the onions are optional, you can skip them if you want.) Add the strained beans and about a 1/4 cup of water to the pan. Using a potato masher, mash the beans in the pan, while you are cooking them, until they are a rough purée. Add more water if necessary to keep the fried beans from getting too dried out. Add salt to taste. Add a few slices of cheddar cheese, or some (1/2 cup) grated cheddar cheese if you want. When beans are heated through (and optional cheese melted) the beans are ready to serve.
Note: many recipes call for soaking the beans overnight and discarding the soaking liquid. We don't. We discard the cooking liquid and just add some water back into the frying pan when we are frying the beans.