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Traditional Refried Beans from SCRATCH served with Chilaquiles Verde

My Refried Beans (Mi Frijoles Refritos)

Recipe shared by permission of Skyhorse Publishing. From the author: Lots of people have a favorite refried bean recipe, but I think my Dos Caminos version is special because we use avocado leaves and bacon, which adds a smoky flavor. They’re definitely better than what comes out of a can. When we were very young children, one of the first foods my parents ordered for my sister and me were black bean tacos in a small storefront Mexican restaurant in Denver, where we ate weekly. They are a simple, approachable food for any age.
Cuisine Mexican
Author Ivy Stark


  • 1 pound dry black or pinto beans
  • 2 avocado leaves [“Resources” chapter has suggestions of places to buy]
  • 2 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2 -inch strips
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 jalapenos, seeds and membranes removed if desired, minced
  • ½ cup lard
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt
  • Crumbled Cotija cheese to garnish (optional)


  1. Rinse the beans and soak overnight in a large pot of cold water. (If you don’t have time to soak overnight, put the beans into a pot of water to cover by at least 2 inches and bring to a boil; turn off the heat, cover, and let sit for 1 hour.) The following day, bring the pot of beans to a boil, add the avocado leaves, turn the heat down, and simmer until tender, 2 to 3 hours.
  2. In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until golden brown; add the onion and sauté until golden, about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and jalapeños and cook for about 3 minutes, adding a little lard or bacon fat, if necessary, to keep the beans from sticking.
  3. Drain the beans; reserve the cooking liquid. Scrape the onion mixture into the container of a food processor along with about 2 cups of the cooked beans and puree. Combine the puree with the remaining the beans.
  4. In a large, heavy casserole, melt the lard over medium-high heat; add the beans and fry for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the lime juice and season to taste with salt. If the mixture seems dry, add some leftover bean water until you reach the desired consistency. Serve topped with crumbled Cotija cheese, if desired.