Refried Beans (for Canning)

The US government disapproves of people canning refried beans at home. Just so you know. So it can be hard to find instructions on doing so.

I made sure my beans were a little thinner than usual for canning them (to ensure good heat penetration), and they turned out just great. If you are a little leery of doing them, then use the safety net - just heat the beans to boiling and keep them bubbling for about 10 minutes after you open the jar (this neutralizes botulism toxins).

There is some confusion out there as to what the term "refried" means, and you do NOT need to fry them twice, that's just silly. The name refers to the fact that they were generally made from leftover beans from the night before, and cooked in a skillet with pork fat, so they just fell apart from the additional cooking. Over time, people began mashing or pureeing the beans as well as just cooking them. You don't even have to fry them at all, just cook them WELL, mash or blend all or part, and it will make really excellent beans.


Refried Beans

2 lbs pinto or pink beans
fat from 1 lb of bacon

dried onion (about 1/2 cup)
garlic granules (sprinkle lightly)

2 sticks butter (1 cup)
Salt to taste
pepper to taste
taco seasoning or chili powder if wanted, to taste

Add dry beans to Dutch oven and add 4 qts of water to cover. Cook on high till the beans come to a boil for about two minutes and turn off the heat, cover and let the beans sit in the pot covered for 30 to 45 minutes. Once the beans have sat they will have absorbed a lot of the water. Drain the beans through a colander and then add 4 qts of fresh water and add the onions and garlic. Cook the beans again until tender (you should be able to smash them between your fingers).

Drain the broth (can reserve it for use in soups if you like), and add 2 cups back into the beans. MASH beans (you can use a potato masher, or a stick blender, or run them in a regular blender or food processor if you want, but leave some texture behind). Add seasonings, bacon fat, and butter.

Beans should be slightly thin for refried beans, you want them to be BARELY pourable, not pasty (they will thicken as they cool, and as they sit in storage).

Put into jars, leaving 1 1/2 inches headspace (beans expand when they boil). Add lids.

Pressure can at 10 lbs pressure (adjusted for altitude), for 75 minutes for pints.


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