Slow cooker Re-fried Beans

 Did you know that you can cook dried beans in the slow cooker?  I learned this not too long ago from a good friend who makes the very best re-fried beans. Using the slow cooker for dried beans is the simplest way to cook them. All you do is  put the beans in the slow cooker, cover them with water and cook on high for about 4 hrs. Since I learned this I've rarely bought canned beans. Here's how I make re-fried beans in the slow cooker.

From what I've read, re-fried beans are made with pinto beans or black beans. Our family loves black beans, so that's what I use.

500 g of black beans
1-2 onions, grated
4 cloves garlic, minced. Use more if you like garlic
15 ml cumin
15 ml paprika
5 ml flaked chili peppers
Salt and pepper

What you do
Put the beans in the slow cooker
Grate the onion on top of the beans
Add the minced garlic
Add the spices

Add water to cover beans by about 2 inches.

 Stir it all up. Put on the lid, turn the slow cooker to high and cook for about 4 hrs. Slow cookers are different so I suggest you check the beans after 3 hrs. Many recipes for cooking beans in the slow cooker suggest they cook for 8 hrs but there's no way it would take that long to cook beans in my slow cooker.

Take a peek at the beans during the cooking process. Sometimes you might need to add more water.
This time when I made the beans, most of the water was absorbed.

Transfer the cooked beans to a bowl, add some water (use leftover cooking water if you have any) and puree with an immersion blender (or puree them in a food processor or just mash them with a potato masher or large fork if you don't want them really smooth). Puree the beans in batches. If they're too thin, add more beans; if too thick, add more water.

And that's all there is to it. So simple and very flavourful.

This makes a ton of beans so you might only want to use 250 g of beans. I cook 500 g and puree about half of them. I freeze them in 1-2 cup containers. I use them in quesadillas and to make black bean dip. I also add them to chili, some soups and I've even added them to ground beef for making burgers. I portion the remaining whole beans into containers or freezer bags. I add them to soups, chili, rice, pasta salad. 

Michele, RD