New Recipe Monday — Crockpot refried beans without the refry

We eat a lot of beans at our house. Cheap source of protein and you can eat them a number of ways. I’ve been looking for a recipe to make my own refried beans, and since I have absolutely no Hispanic ancestory…I was kind of at a loss. I found a recipe similar to this one on allrecipes.com but I modified the recipe to fit our family’s tastes. Here’s what I came up with and how it’s worked for us so far.
1 onion, peeled and halved
6 cups dry pinto beans, rinsed
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic — I will add more next time
3 teaspoons salt
1 3/4 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin — definitely adding more next time probably close to 1 tsp.
Water to cover the beans.
Directions
1. Place the onion, rinsed beans, jalapeno, garlic, salt, pepper, and cumin into a slow cooker. Pour in the water and stir to combine. Cook on High for 8 hours, adding more water as needed. Note: if more than 1 cup of water has evaporated during cooking, then the temperature is too high.
2. Once the beans have cooked, strain them, and reserve the liquid (this process is a bit easier if the beans are cool, I just dipped the liquid out with a measuring cup). Mash the beans with a potato masher, adding the reserved water as needed to attain desired consistency.
This recipe was really pretty easy to make and I didn’t have an old fashioned potato masher, so I ended up using my pastry cutter, which worked fine. I put the refried beans into plastic containers and froze them. We ate our first batch this last week.  A couple of points…they don’t have the fat content that the canned beans do and you kind of miss it at first, but overall our family really liked these. Next time I make a batch, I will be a little more heavy handed on the spices as this batch was a bit bland and needed a little salt when I reheated them, but the reviews for the recipe I read said they were too salty so I hesitated to put the full amount in this time. I think because I froze them they were drier than they would have been otherwise. So when I reheated them, I added a bit of milk and they were much creamier. This is definitely going to be a staple at our house, they were easy to make, tasted good and will be even better with a couple tweaks to the recipe. Below are some pictures of the process…

Just before cooking

These smelled so good cooking all day!

All mashed up and ready to eat or freeze

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