Crock Pot Refried Beans (six quart slow-cooker version)

I was born a third-generation Southern Californian. While I don’t have any legitimate Mexican heritage, I come from a proud line of bean lovers. Our family favorite, of course, is the pinto bean. Slow simmered and left whole in a thick broth, or crushed up and fried to a dark brown color, there’s nothing better served with breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

I have tried many a recipe, searching for the perfect way to recreate the south-of-the-border favorite, while maintaining some level of modesty where calories and fat content are concerned. Here’s what I’ve come up with. If you’re like me, you won’t be able to resist¬†sneaking a bowlful of whole beans before crushing up the rest of the pot.¬†

Try these in my beans & eggs recipe!

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  • 1. Rise pintos and soak. Option 1. Soak overnight in a very large bowl of water. Option 2. Quick soak by bringing pintos to boil in large covered stockpot of water. Boil for 5 minutes, turn of heat, then let stand on burner for one hour.
  • 2. Drain, rinse, and pour beans into slow cooker.
  • 3. Add the onion halves, nestling them into the beans.
  • 4. Add salt.
  • 5. Fill slow cooker with water. The pot will be full of beans, and the water should cover the beans.
  • 6. Switch crock pot to low for at least 12 hours, but I recommend 24 for melt-in-your-mouth, creamy beans and rich broth. Check water level from time to time and add water as needed to keep beans covered.
  • 7. Remove one half of the onion.
  • 8. (For whole pintos, serve or portion and freeze here.)
  • 9. For refried, drain off and reserve between 2-4 cups of the liquid. (I either press a measuring cup into the beans to catch the juice, or use a ladle to scoop it out. You will get a feel for how much is needed after you make them a time or two.)
  • 10. Using a submersion blender (also called a hand blender), food processor, standard blender, or potato masher, blend pintos (including remaining half onion into a creamy, mashy delight. Add more liquid if necessary to desired consistency. If you accidentally add too much liquid, simmer beans on the stovetop in an uncovered frying pan until enough water has evaporated to give you the desired consistency.
  • 11. Serve and enjoy! These freeze beautifully, and are much tastier, not to mention cheaper, than canned beans! Freeze in 1 or 2 lb portions. (1 lb = 1 can; 1 lb = aprox 2 cups)