Saturday, February 29, 2020

Instant Pot Assisted Refried Beans



As you saw in my last post, I've been playing with my new Instant Pot and one of the things that I made and loved was Pinto Beans. They cooked up perfectly and were ready to make into Refried Beans in only 30 minutes. I cook all Beans without Salt as it can make the skin of the Beans a little tough. I use only Water, a Bay Leaf and an herb called Epazote to cook my Pinto Beans. This herb is often used in Mexico for cooking Beans as it helps to improve your digestion, meaning that it reduces gas, which is a god thing!  Epazote has a somewhat medicinal smell, but I love it as it reminds me of Mexican home cooking. I also have started using Lard in my Refried Beans, as I am quite enamored of it as an ingredient in Mexican food. I buy a special high quality Leaf Lard online and for those of you who worry about saturated fat, many studies show that Lard is actually very good for you!  You can use a light tasting Vegetable Oil instead if you prefer, or if you are Vegan.  I also like my Refried Beans to be somewhat pasty with chunks left in. I use Refried Beans on top of Tostadas to hold the other toppings on and of course they are an essential ingredient for Burritos. With an Instant Pot, making Beans has never been easier!

Instant Pot Assisted Refried Beans

1 cup dried Pinto Beans
3 1/2 cups Water
1 Bay Leaf
1 teaspoon dried Epazote
1 Tablespoon Lard or a light tasting Vegetable Oil + an additional 2 Tablespoons
1/2 cup of minced White (or Yellow) Onion
1/4  teaspoon Salt
Optional:  1/4 teaspoon of Chili Powder or a pinch of Cayenne Pepper

Rinse the Pinto Beans and place into the Instant Pot. Add in the Water, 1 Tablespoon of Lard or Oil, Bay Leaf and Epazote. Seal the lid and cook on High Pressure for 30 minutes. Let cool naturally.  When ready to make the Refried Beans, drain the Pinto Beans, remove the Bay Leaf and reserve the cooking liquid. 

In a frying pan, melt the Lard or heat the Oil and add in the Onions. Cook until soft and just beginning to brown. Put in the Beans and Salt. Then mash the Beans with a Potato Masher or the back of a fork. Add in 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking liquid and cook on medium low heat until thickened, adding more liquid if necessary until you get the consistent desired. Serve immediately. If you reheat the Beans later, you will need to add a bit of Water to rehydrate them.

Five Element Analysis

Pinto Beans, like all Beans, belong to the Water Element and the Lard  or Oil adds even more, but their brownish color also makes them a bit Earthy.  The Onion contributes the Metal Element and there is just a hint of Fire if you add in the Chili Powder or Cayenne. Clearly, this is a food meant to be eaten with other foods to create a balance.  


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