Adapted from a recipe by Chelsie Kenyon, About.com Guide
The epazote is a key ingredient to this dish adding a distinctive flavor. It is a Mexican herb that when raw smells reminiscent of citrus, savory, or mint, but is not any of them. It culinary purpose is as a carminative, i.e. it helps stop gas from forming. Left over epanzote may be used as a tea, like fresh mint.
My change this time is in technique. I seem to be psychologically incapable of following rules, even my own. Actually I forgot the order and did not look at the directions. Instead of cooking the beans and then frying the chili in oil, I started with this step. I have been making two moles, both of which use this cooking order, so it seemed natural. I also decided to add half a cup of chopped onion this time.
Prep Time: 15 minutes: Cook Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Karl’s Refried Beans II
1 Tbs. corn oil (or lard from pork roast)
1 Serrano chili, diced fine
½ cup raw onion, diced fine
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cups uncooked pinto beans
2-4 sprigs epazote (if available, add them whole and do not chop)
salt to taste
½ cup raw onion
1 cup grated cheddar
1. Rinse beans and check for debris.
2. add corn oil (lard) to a Dutch oven and heat over medium heat. Cook the Serrano chili and onions until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
3. Add several cups of water to the Dutch oven and pour in the beans. Add more water to a total of 7 cups.
Tip: Do not presoak beans or final dish will come out gray and unappealing.
4. Add epazote and bring beans to a boil, and reduce to a slow simmer for 2 hours. If water level gets low, replace with more boiling hot water.
5. When beans are extremely soft, drain beans, conserving most of the liquid. Put beans is a separate bowl and remove any large epazote stems.
6. Use a slotted spoon to add about half a cup of beans back into the Dutch oven. Mash the beans with a potato masher. If the mixture seems thick, add about a tablespoon of the cooking liquid reserved from the beans.
5. Continue to add the beans and mashing them. Adding bean liquid as necessary, the beans should be moist but not soupy. Add salt to taste.