Refried beans has always been my favorite side dish for fajitas or tacos, but I’ve only recently begun to experiment with other ways of preparing this inexpensive protein source. I love cumin with pintos, but not everyone is as fond of it as I, so using less (or none) may be in order if you’re not a fan. I’m sure this dish would also work well in a Crockpot.
Prep: overnight soak for beans
Cook: 2 hours
1 lb. pinto beans (soaked overnight)
2 slices nitrate-free bacon
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 a sweet onion, finely chopped
1 small or 1/2 large green bell pepper, finely chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2-1 tsp. ground cumin, or to taste
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4-1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chicken stock
6-7 cups water
- Soak pinto beans in 6-8 cups water overnight. Drain and rinse beans.
- Chop bacon and cook with about 1 tbsp. olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pot/Dutch oven, 1-2 minutes.
- Add chopped onion and bell pepper to bacon. Cook until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add minced garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Reduce heat to medium and add drained beans, water, chicken stock, bay leaf and cumin.
- Cook 2 hours or until beans are tender, stirring often, adding more water if necessary. (If you have too much water, simply let the beans cook longer and thicken.
- Season with salt and black pepper to taste.