Sunday, 21 April 2013

Refried beans - with bacon and vegetables

Refried beans - with bacon and vegetables

Refried red kidney beans, with bacon and vegetables came about when I was home sick for a day. I was feeling like nothing more than something warming on toast, and being on a bit of a legume and mexican kick, this worked a treat and was really simple to throw together.
I cooked the red kidney beans up from the dried form, but a tin of them will work perfectly well if you don't have a spare 50 minutes to cook them, as I did sitting on a couch feeling sorry for myself.
Start with half a cup of red kidney beans, or if you're being much more practical and using a tin of beans, skip on down to the onion section.
 Place in a small saucepan with plenty of cold water and a little vegetable stock powder if you wish.
Put it on a high heat and cook until it's boiling. 
Let it boil for a minute or two, then turn down the heat to low and let it simmer for the next 50 minutes. You just have to check them occasionally for this nice scum that appears.
 Take a nice big spoon, scoop it off and throw it away. 
Cooking away happily. Sit down and rest for awhile!
When the beans have only about 10 minutes to go, you can start prepping the rest of the meal we'll be adding to the beans. Take one nice big red onion. Peel it - slice it into strips, then dice it up.
Take three cloves of garlic. Peel them - squash them with the side of a knife blade - then chop them up. 
Take one carrot. Peel it
 slice it longways into sticks - and dice it up too.
 In a big frypan - heat up a little olive oil, add the onion and let it cook for about 3 minutes until it softens. 
If you're adding bacon, take three slices with the fat trimmed off. You don't have to use bacon and can keep it vegetarian, or you can up the ante and switch it for some chorizo.
Dice it into little squares.
 After the onion has softened slightly, throw the bacon and the garlic in with the onion.
Let it sizzle for two minutes, then add the carrot and stir it around.
 Now would be a great time to add your spices to the onion mix. 1/2 teaspoon of cumin, and a little less of paprika and ground chillies.
 By now your beans should be very tender and rather pink looking.
Drain them (keep a little of the juice!). Do the same if you're using tinned beans. 
And throw them into the frypan.  
 Stir around, and using a wooden spoon, squash the beans into the pan a little. If it looks a little dry, you can add some of the juice the beans were cooking in.
After about another 2 minutes (we're very close to being finished) - roughly chop up a tomato into small chunks, and throw into the mix. This doesn't need long to cook at all, just enough cooking time to warm it up.
One last finishing touch before you serve up- take half a lemon and squeeze it over the mix, this really lifts the heavy beans so don't skip the lemon. And you're finished! Easy. 
 Serve either on toast, in a tortilla or just on its own in a bowl.
 It does need a good splash of natural yoghurt on the top though, or some sour cream.
 Sprinkle with some parsley, and squeeze some more lemon on, and some more chilli if you're keen. Warming, healthy and filling for a lazy day on the couch.

Refried beans 

1/2 cup dried kidney beans (or a 400g tin of red kidney beans)
1 teaspoon powdered vegetable stock (optional)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red onion
3 cloves garlic
1 carrot
3 bacon rashers (trimmed of fat)
1/2 teaspoon cumin,
1/4 teaspoon each paprika & dried chilli (to taste)
1 large tomato
Juice of 1/2 lemon, plus more lemon to serve
Natural yoghurt to serve, or sour cream
Parsley to serve.

1. Place beans in a pot of cold water (with stock powder), bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and let the beans simmer for 50 minutes (or until soft- read the instructions on the packet). Skim the scum off the top of the water every 15 minutes or so.
2. When the beans have only 10 more minutes to cook, dice the red onion, heat the olive oil in a large frypan, and saute the onion until it starts to soften.
3. Crush and chop up the garlic, and dice the carrot and bacon into small squares. Add the garlic and bacon to the onion, let it saute for 2 minutes, before adding the carrot.
4. Add the spices to the onion mix.
5. Check the beans are soft, and drain. Reserve some of the juice it was cooking in.
6. Add beans to the onion/bacon mix, stir around and squash some of them with a wooden spoon. Add some of the reserved juice if it looks a little dry.
7. Roughly chop the tomato and stir into the onion/bacon mix, along with the lemon juice.
8. After a further 2 minutes, turn off the heat and serve the beans with a dollop of natural yoghurt or sour cream, some more lemon and some parsley.
Eat on bread, in a tortilla or on its own!
Serves 2.


  1. Wow, this sounds delicious! I'm obsessed with refried beans but have never tried to make them myself. xoxo

    1. Thanks hun- Let me know how it goes!