I love taco nights although not for the tacos. True, the tacos are good. Actually the tacos are great, but I always look forward to refried beans.
Of course my refried beans do not come out of a can. They do take far more time than their red headed step kin in a can, but the flavor is so far superior that I would just drop all the canned children off at an orphanage.
The only problem with making them yourself is that they do taste best with lard. I have tried many different types of oil as a substitute, with Crisco coming in as the best alternative, but none come close to lard. Granted Crisco isn’t exactly known for its healthy qualities. Therefore I suggest smaller portions; mine only takes up half the plate.
3-4 cups dried pinto beans
1 dried ancho chili
1 onion diced fine
1 cup chicken stock
3 tbsp lard/Crisco
Wash beans and discard any stones or bad ones. Cover beans in cold water and soak all day. Tear dried pepper by hand into small pieces and add to beans. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to simmer and cook until most of the water is absorbed. Do not stir the beans. Once most of the water is gone, refill with water and cook until beans begin to break apart and are very soft, about a half hour more. Mash beans with a ricer. In a large sauté pan melt fat. Add onion and sauté until it begins to brown, taking care not to let it burn. Add beans and stock. Bring to a simmer and cook until thick stirring occasionally. For a creamy finish add a spoonful of sour cream and cook until thick again.