Preparation / Directions:
PREPARE FRIJOLES EN OLLA: Pick through the dried pinto beans to remove small rocks (processors never seem to get rid of all of them). Rinse beans well several times until water runs clear and all grit is removed.
Place beans in a large pot with enough water to reach 2/3's of the way up the pot. Bring water to a boil and add 1 large quartered onion and 3-4 slices of bacon. During the cooking process, the onion will become mush.
This and the bacon add real flavor to the beans.
Cook over low heat for 3-4 hours until the beans are very soft and tender. Beans should just bubble, not boil, during the cooking process. During the first 90 minutes, stir and check frequently. The beans absorb a large amount of water and you will have to add some periodically to prevent burning.
Add salt during the last 30 minutes. Finished beans should have the consistency of bean soup, which I guess this is.
PREPARE FRIJOLES REFRITOS: Heat oil in a medium skillet. Add drained cooked pinto beans to the skillet and mash up into a paste. (I use an old hand potato masher but a perforated metal cooking spoon also works well).
Saute the beans over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning and adding a little bean broth as necessary for proper consistency. The finished beans should be like thick library paste in texture.
* Tex-Mex style pinto beans are known in Mexico as "Frijoles En Olla,"
or beans in the pot. This is the basis for refried beans (Frijoles Refrito), but we also like it as well as a side dish.
: Difficulty: easy. : Time: 10 minutes, plus cooking time of frijoles en olla. : Precision: no need to measur