Some foods are pretty good when you buy them pre-made. Refried beans are one of them. Many of the store bought varieties are decent. However, making your own is both easy and there is a notable difference in flavor and texture. I prefer homemade when I have the time.
If you like your beans a little spicy, add a couple of chopped chipoltes and the adobo sauce they came in to the beans at the end of mashing.
1 lb pinto beans
1 yellow onion, fine dice
1 carrot, fine dice
2 stalks celery, fine dice
4 c chicken stock (vegetable stock if you want to go vegetarian)
4 heads garlic, crushed
3 T salt
3 T cumin
2 T dried oregano
1 T sweet paprika
4 T neutral oil (canola, grapeseed, or similar)
Place all ingredients into a crock pot. Cook on high setting for about 3 hours, until beans are soft.
Drain beans of any excess water.
Heat four tablespoons of a neutral oil in a pan (some people prefer bacon, which can be an option here). Add the beans to the pan. While cooking over medium heat, mash the beans with a potato masher until they are mostly smooth. Adjust salt and cumin to taste.
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