Pinto Beans & Refried Beans

Beans, Beans the musical fruit, the more you eat....ahem.

Beans are very inexpensive to make. VERY. I used to think it was difficult and time-consuming to make dried beans. And then I did it once....and it is really not difficult. At all. BUT making your own beans does save a ton of money. Really truly.

For example, I bought a 10 lb. bag of pintos at Costco for $5.97 which would be the cost of 6 cans of pintos. I cooked 6 lbs of the beans the other day in about 10 minutes of hands-on time and it equalled at least 14 cans. CRAZY savings! Beans are also super healthy and high in protein, but fat-free so--if you're not sold on the idea yet just try a batch of your own refried beans they're so good!

I bought all of these beans because we're inviting our entire neighborhood over for chili and apple cider before trick-or-treating Saturday and of course I'm trying to make chili for 40 people on a budget. But it has to be good chili. So we went to Costco after the Fair and I bought 2 enormous food-service sized cans of tomatoes for $2.27 each and 2 cans of tomato sauce for $3.19 each and a huge bag of pintos for $6....which makes much less expensive chili for 40!

I cooked the pinto beans and put a huge tupperware container int he freezer for the mass quantities of chili this weekend. Then I put 6 "1-can" bags in the freezer for future use in chili, taco soup, taco salad, ... Then I cooked the snot out of a crock-pot full of the already cooked pintos and made refried beans---lots of refried beans. AAANNNDD I have 4 lbs of pinto beans left in the pantry. So, just try to make your own beans. This recipe to cook pinto beans will work to cook any kind of dried beans except lentils and split peas which are much smaller and cook faster and differently.

*Note: I cooked 6 lbs of beans in a huge roaster but for the recipe I'll put a 2 lb recipe on because that's obviously a more practical amount that will fit in a regular crockpot.
Now, finally for the recipes:

Pinto Beans

2 lb bag of dried pinto beans
1 onion
2 tsp. Salt

Dump the bag of pintos into your crockpot and cover with water. Let stand over night soaking up the water. In the morning rinse the beans in a collander and filter out any funky looking beans. Put the beans back into the crock and cover with fresh water. Peel the onion and slice in half and drop in the crockpot, sprinkle in 2 tsp. salt. Cover with the lid and cook on low 5-6 hours or high 2-4 hours. You don't need to stir them at all, but you will want to check them because every crockpot cooks differently. Just taste one, you'll know they're done because there will be no more brown spots left and it doesn't have a crunch.
Let cool. To freeze, separate into 1 2/3 cup increments and put in ziplocs or freezer containers.

Refried Beans

2 lbs pinto beans
1 onion
4 whole cloves garlic
2 tsp. chili powder or taco seasoning (check for allergens)
1/2 tsp. cumin

Soak the beans overnight, rinse them and drain them. Put them into the crockpot and cover with water. Slice the onion in half and add that to the pot. Add garlic, salt, and other seasonings. (A couple strips of bacon never hurt either!) Cook on Low 6-7 hours or High 3-5 hours. Just cook and cook and cook the beans. I guess you could overcook them, but it would take a loooonnng time. Then fish out the garlic and onions and discard them. Drain off most of the cooking liquid and reserve a little in case you need to thin out the beans. Mash the beans with a potato masher, adding liquid if you need it. Add extra salt or seasoning to your taste.

These beans will knock the socks off of canned beans. No offense Rosarita! You can freeze them in 2 c. increments to use as needed. They are good in burros, as a snack, add some velveeta and homeade salsa and you have a delish dip. The possibilities are endless.

No comments:

Post a Comment