How Do You Make Mexican Restaurant Refried Beans?

i have no problem making Mexican food at home – but i have never been able to get refried beans to taste “right” – like a restaurant. i’m from Los Angeles – so my favorite refried beans are made from pinto beans. they are a very smooth/fluid consistency with no whole beans. i can’t really describe the taste. does anyone know what i’m talking about and how to make these at home?

55 Answers

  • babette feasts Oct 14, 2021


    • GG Mora Oct 14, 2021


      • dtud Oct 14, 2021

        ok – but what do you do with the lard? what’s the ratio of lard:bean? is there a good brand of lard?

        • Robert Lauriston Oct 14, 2021

          You make good lard yourself from pork fat.

          • GG Mora Oct 14, 2021

            Yes, you can render your own lard (which I will be doing next week…a local farm is offing its first pig om Tuesday and I have dibs on the fat!). Barring that, you can get sometimes get good lard from a butcher or from a grocery in a neighborhood with a Mexican or Latino population. Barring that, you can buy the sanitized lard (Sno-Cap or some such) from a chain grocery, and then throw it in a roasting pan with some very fatty country-style ribs and cook low and slow until the fat is rendered.

            Using a couple of tablespoons of lard, sauté some chopped white onion and garlic until soft, then cook about 4 cups of cooked beans, adding a little at a time along with some of the cooking liquid; mash the baens as you go along.

            The best refried beans are like a soft pudding.

            • janeer Jun 20, 2021

              I make mine much the same way: lard, black beans and liquid, plus some epazote for flavor. Sometimes I use pinto beans, but I love the black. I like to make them right before serving.
              www. littlecomptonmornings.

        • AbdulSheikhMohammed Jun 20, 2021

          I use bacon grease. Always looking for excuses to cook up some bacon to snack on…

          (Bacon grease + onions + garlic + cooked pintos + water) + (cook down the water a bit) + (potato masher) = (my refried beans)

          • EarlyBird Apr 22, 2021

            That’s nearly exactly what I do, but I add a sliced jalapeno.

            I was taught a trick: always just keep the beans covered with water throughout the cook. Keep a kettle of water at a near boil and continually top off the beans throughout the cook until they can absorb no more water, and then they’re basically ready for mashing.

            • EWSflash May 30, 2021

              Lard is best, but a little bacon fat gilds the lily beautifully

          • UnConundrum Oct 14, 2021

            I cook the beans (bring water to boil, add beans and 1 tsp salt/lb of beans, and bake at 250 till done, about 2.5 hours) As the beans approach being done, I saute onions and a little garlic. Strain the beans reserving the liquid. Add the beans to the onions and mash somewhat. Thin out with reserved bean liquid. Add cumin and chili to taste. Adjust salt. Add some fresh, chopped coriander.

            • Robert Lauriston Oct 14, 2021

              For the smooth consistency, you need to mash them. There’s a metal tool called a bean masher.

              For the flavor, you need good-quality fresh-rendered lard.

              • Sharuf Oct 14, 2021

                Get your butcher to give you some pork fat trimmings. If there’s a little meat attached, so much the better. Add that to the pot when you start cooking the beans. Discard before mashing the beans.

                • Candice Oct 16, 2021

                  I love refritos and make them all the time. If I have bacon at home, I’ll cook and remove it from the pan, then saute onions, garlic, and chilies in the fat, add one or 2 cans of pinto beans, some chicken stock and simmer a bit. After that, I puree them in the blender and they come out super creamy. I usually add coriander and cumin to the sauteing veggies too. If I don’t have bacon on hand, I’ll use olive oil and the results are still very tasty.

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