One of the most iconic dishes of Mexican cuisine is refried beans. Grandmothers all over Mexico will tell you that the process to make the best refried beans takes at least two days, from cleaning the dried beans to frying them for the third or fourth time on a pan right before serving them. The best refried beans are cooked in lard. I know this doesn’t sound very healthy and that many of my readers from outside Mexico will think this is so 1920’s, but if you haven’t tried refried beans fried in lard, you don’t know refried beans, haha.
I personally don’t use lard for my cooking (except for the time when I made tamales) and when I make refried beans I use chorizo to give them some extra flavor. But I wanted to experiment a little bit more with my beans so I decided to use a couple of dried chipotle peppers a couple of months ago and the result was fantastic! I made a batch to prepare mini three-cheese (Oaxaca, manchecgo and provolone cheeses) bisquets for a party a couple of weeks ago, and everybody loved them.
I decided to make them again but this time using a different kind of bean. I went to La Nicolasa, a small organic grocery store that sells products from small producers in Mexico, and got a bag of anaszi beans. These red and white beans belong to the same family than pinto beans. They are sweet and cook faster than other beans. It is believed that these heirloom beans have been consumed in Mexico for thousands of years. They were the perfect bean for my recipe.
- 4 cups cooked anasazi beans
- 2 dried smoked chipotle peppers (found in your local Mexican or Latin market)
- ½ lb Mexican chorizo
- ½ white onion, chopped
- 2 cloves
- salt and pepper to taste
- chicken broth as needed
- Re-hydrate the chipotle peppers in about ¼ cup of boiling water with the 2 cloves. Liquify them in a blender or food processor and set apart.
- In a large cast-iron skillet fry the chorizo. Oil is not necessary because we'll be using the fat from the chorizo.
- Add the chopped onion and let it cook for about 5 minutes.
- Add cooked beans, one cup at a time, and mash using a potato masher. Alternatively, you can use a blender or food processor to mush up the beans. For this you might need some chicken broth.
- Add the liquified chipotle peppers and stir.
- Adjust seasoning if necessary. Simmer for about 20 minutes stirring constantly.