I feel strongly that Refried Bens should be a staple in everyone’s house. Why? Homemade beans have an extra depth of flavor, and the cooking liquid is almost as good as the beans. You may think that cooking from the dry bean just shouldn’t take so long.
The pressure cooker takes the Refried Bean side dish from a Weekend Adventure to a Weeknight Dinner! The key is getting the beans done early. You do not want to be waiting on the pressure cooker while the family is already sitting at the dinner table.
As soon as you get home, throw all the ingredients into the pressure cooker, set the cooking time and then go about your normal evening routine. The beans can sit in their own liquid for a while once they are cooked. That way the beans wait on you, and not the other way around.
- 6 quarts or larger pressure cooker (I used my Fagor 8 quart)
- Potato Masher
- Large Frying Pan (12-inch)
- 1 cup pinto beans sorted and rinsed
- 2 cloves garlic (whole, with the skins still on)
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 cups water
- 1/4 cup olive oil (vegetable can be substituted)
- 1 medium onion, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 jalapeno pepper, minced fine
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt + 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Put the beans, whole garlic cloves, bay leaf, and water in the pressure cooker. Stir, and then lock the pressure cooker lid, Cook on high pressure for 35 minutes in an electric pressure cooker. Turn off the heat and let the pressure come down naturally, about 10 minutes. Remove the lid and discard the bay leaf and garlic cloves. (Save the beans and the cooking liquid).
- While the pressure is coming down on the beans: heat the olive oil in a large fry pan over medium-high heat until the oil starts to shimmer. Add the onion, smashed garlic cloves, jalapeño, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sauté until the onions are browned around the edges, about five minutes. (If the beans aren't done, turn the heat off and move the pan to a cool burner. When the beans are done, put the pan back over medium-high heat and continue with step 3.)
- Add the beans and all of their cooking liquid to the frying pan. Be careful as the hot oil may splatter when the wet beans are added. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of salt over the beans. Start mashing the beans, stir as you go to get the onions evenly distributed. Keep cooking the beans, mashing and stirring occasionally, until the beans thicken about eight minutes. Taste, and add more salt if necessary. Serve.