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Brrrrritos January 13, 2010

Posted by Toy Lady in Cooking, Food, Freezer Meals, random stuff.
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Baby, it’s cold outside!  I honestly don’t think we’ve had a single day since Christmas that there has not been snow in some form falling from the sky.  And I, for one, am thoroughly sick of snow!  So I think it’s only natural, then, to want to spend more time in the kitchen, where it’s warm and toasty, and where we can fulfill our need for comfort foods.

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So the other day, a thought occurred to me.

You know what would be good?  What if we took a pound of dried pinto beans, and cooked them, then tried making some refried beans?

We’d never made refried beans before, but really, how hard can it be?

Then we could take our newly-minted refried beans and maybe make some homemade burritos!

(Besides, Surly Boy was still home, and how nice would it be to send him back to the Place with a package of homemade burritos?  Yeah.)

PhotobucketSo we got our beans soaking (speed soaked them –  simply cover with boiling water and let them sit for an hour, until the beans are markedly larger, then drain), then we cooked them – cover with fresh water, plenty of salt, and diced onion and garlic, bring to a boil, then let them simmer until the beans are done.  You’ll know they’re done when they have the texture of, well, cooked beans.

Now it’s time to fry.  For proper refried beans, one would usually use lard, though there are vegetarian versions, which, I assume, use vegetable shortening.  I guess.

We decided, however, to use bacon grease.  After all, what is bacon grease, really, but lard with, well, enhancements?  Smoky, tasty enhancements.

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Not much fat, mind you, just enough to keep the beans from sticking.  Once a tablespoon or so of your fat of choice is hot, add about half the beans (you’ll refry the beans in two batches – just repeat for the rest of the beans).  We used a slotted spoon to remove beans from the pot; don’t bother draining them – you’ll want to use some of the cooking liquid.

It’s kind of like, you know when you’re doing a pasta dish, and the recipe tells you to “reserve” some of the pasta water?  Yeah, it’s like that.  It’s just as easy, though, to reserve all of the bean water, that’s all.

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So our beans started to sizzle and fry, and we pulled out the potato masher and mashed them.  Just mush them all up – it’s OK if there are some less-than-smooth beans there – a little texture is a good thing!  Check for seasoning – salt and pepper, mainly, though a little chili powder, cumin, or even garlic powder wouldn’t be amiss, and you’re got your refried beans.

It’s that easy!

Oh, but wait, there’s more!  We’re making burritos here, remember?  And while homemade bean burritos are excellent, beef, bean and cheese burritos even better!

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Remember the story of the ant and the grasshopper?  How the grasshopper flitted around all summer, hopping on grass, I guess, and the ant, well the ant did a bunch of gardening and canning and preserving and was all set for winter?

Yeah.  Back last summer when we smoked all those ribs, we had a TON left over that Peeps diced up and put into half-pound packages in the freezer for, well, I guess for this!  If you’re not fortunate enough to happen to have rib meat in your freezer, you could certainly use leftover roast beef, pot roast, turkey, whatever you’ve got.  Or no meat at all, if that’s the way you want to go.  Next time, I think I want to use some of my leftover mole. . .

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Stir together the beans and your meat of choice, and now it’s time to roll.

Heh.  Roll.  Burritos.  Heh.

I used my #24 cookie scoop – two scoops of beef-bean filling, plus 1/8 cup of shredded cheddar –  roll each burrito, then wrap individually in plastic wrap.

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When all was said and done, we had two packages of 6 burritos each, plus another pack of 2, plus the one we sampled while we were making them.

You know, quality control.

Then The Boy forgot his burritos when he drove back so, unfortunately, we were stuck with all of them.

Yeah, unfortunately.  HA!

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Boy, were these good or what!  Peeps likes his burritos with salsa and sour cream; I prefer mine with just a dab of (light) sour cream.  But either way, they are WAY better than those frozen things you buy at the store for, what, $1.99 each?

Yeah, let’s see – a pound of beans, leftover beef, maybe half a pound of cheese, and two packages of flour tortillas.  For, all told, 16 tortillas (counting the one sample one).

There’s no reason not to keep a dozen or so of these in the freezer – they make great lunches, snacks, or even a quick, lazy dinner.

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Comments

1. Shawanda @ You Have More Than You Think - January 13, 2010

Thanks for posting this! Even though I have all these grand plans of cooking, most days I get home from work and I’m willing to settle for something quick, delicious, and marginally nutritious. I’ll have to get over my irrational fear of cooking beans to try this one, but they look so good. I’ve been waiting for a decent discount on chuck roast at any of my local grocers. There’s a Chipotle inspired barbacoa recipe that would go great with homemade burritos.

Shawanda, there’s nothing TO cooking beans! (Though I’ll admit that I’ve only recently started doing anything other than baking them myself!) Just make sure you soak them, then bring them up to a boil before turning them down to simmer until they’re done. . . it takes, um, as long as it takes. 😉

And the idea of using barbacoa sounds excellent! I think I’m doing pork next, then chicken, then. . . who knows? 😆


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