My dad was in the military, so I lived in a lot of places growing up. When I was in high school, I lived in San Antonio, Texas. It was by far my favorite place to live. There was always plenty of fun things to go and do, and the food! Oh the food! Tex-Mex and BBQ, yum. I miss it soooo much.
I recently figured out how to make refried beans in the slow cooker, and tweaked the recipe to fit my Tex-Mex tastebuds. The original recipe is here. The big difference is that I add bacon drippings to my beans and made them a little runnier (which is authentic Tex-Mex). See this post I did for the easiest way to cook bacon and save the drippings.
The beans sit in the slow cooker allllll day (which makes your house smell amazing, and might cause you speak with a Spanish accent…), and when they’re done, I scoop out 1/2 cup portions and put them in zip baggies and freeze them flat on a cookie sheet. Then when they’re frozen, I toss them all into 2 large freezer zip bags (so I don’t have a couple dozen bags of beans just floating around in my freezer).
I then use those individual baggies for bean and cheese quesadillas (spread 2 T of refried beans on a tortilla and top with cheddar cheese and another tortilla and then warm in a hot pan). They are also great for burritos, and I also use them on my Taco Pizza.
Slow Cooker Refried Beans
from The How To Mom, modified from Pennies and Pancakes
2 lb dry pinto beans
1 1/2 c onion, chopped
4 T minced garlic (I used jarred)
1 1/2 T salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp ground cumin
11 c water
drippings from 1 package of bacon
1. Rinse beans thoroughly, and discard any beans that “float.”
2. Combine all ingredients in large slow cooker, and cook on high for at least 8 hours, stirring throughout the day.
3. When beans are super tender, mash with potato masher until desired consistency. (I like some of my beans to stay intact, so I don’t completely mash them.)
Serve immediately, store in fridge (1 week) or freeze. Simply thaw (at room temperature, in the fridge, in the microwave, or on the stove – they’re not finicky.) and enjoy!