This pot o’ beans is my favorite kind of food.
Spend 10 minutes getting it prepped, forget about it for a few hours, then bam! Delicious food to eat for a week. YES.
I call these lazy refried beans because they require minimal effort and they’re still tasty even if you don’t go the extra mile to fry them up.
To be honest, we often don’t go that extra mile and they are still fabulous.
The secret sauce to this recipe is bacon which brings a wonderful richness and smoky flavor to the table.
If you’d prefer to omit the bacon and aren’t planning to fry them I would highly recommend cooking the beans with 2-4 tbsp of olive oil or coconut oil so you get a little fat in the cooking process.
Recent research with rice has shown that cooking carbs with fat changed the structure of the carbohydrate, increasing what’s called resistant starch, which has less impact on your blood sugar.
Without the bacon, I would also recommend adding a few spices to help increase the smoky, savory flavor: cumin, chili powder, and paprika would be great choices! Start with 1/2-1 tsp of each.
If you fry the beans definitely use lard!
I tried other fats like olive oil and coconut oil and they really don’t compare flavor wise.
If you’re sourcing your lard from a well-raised, grass fed pig, its saturated fat is nothing to fear.
Livestock raised on grass instead of corn and soy feed (which is often GMO) have healthier types of saturated fat and higher omega 3 fat content. Animal fats have gotten an unwarranted bad reputation!
Talk to your local butcher and look for hormone and antibiotic free, pasture-raised pig lard.
The better the life the pig had, the better it will be for you to eat.
Lazy Refried Beans
Adapted from Bon Appetit
Makes 16-20 servings
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped*
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped*
1.5lbs dried pinto beans, rinsed
1/2lb bacon, cut into 1/2in strips
3 tsp high mineral salt
3/4c. - 1c. lard
*may be omitted if you are sensitive to garlic and onion like me and you’ll still have delicious beans!
- Pico de gallo
- Avocado slices
- Queso fresco
- Chopped cilantro
- White rice
- Organic, non-GMO tortilla chips
In a large pot, bring beans, onions, bell pepper, garlic, bacon, and salt to boil in 3 quarts** of water.
Reduce heat to medium and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally and adding boiling water if needed to cover the beans and veggies.
Cook for 2-2.5 hours until the beans are tender.
To check tenderness, remove one from the pot and smash it with a fork. If it smashes easily, your beans are cooked through. The mixture shouldn’t be too thick at this point.
Smash the whole pot of beans to your preference. We like to leave a bit of texture so we lightly smash them. If you want more of a smooth texture, smash for longer.
If your mixture thickens up too much here, add water 1/4c at a time until it thins out again to your desired consistency.
To fry the beans, heat half of your lard over medium-high heat in a large skillet (preferably cast iron).
Add half of your beans and liquid to the skillet and fry until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Repeat for the other half of the beans and lard.
Eat immediately or store for 7-10 days. You can also easily freeze these and have a great, quick meal in a couple months.
Top with any of the above for a tasty, nutrient-dense easy meal.
Note: when you reheat the beans, you might need to add some water as they thicken quite a bit once cooled.
**I’ll be honest, I usually eyeball the water and just fill my 7 quart pot up to the brim. I’ll check on it throughout the cooking process, and if things are looking too thick, I’ll add more water. These beans are really hard to mess up. If you add too much water, cook it a bit longer with the lid off to allow more evaporation to happen. You’ll definitely be surprised at how quickly things thicken up when you start to smash the beans while frying them as the starch soaks up the water and fat.