New This Month

"Refried" Beans


Traditional refried beans were leftover beans that were mashed and cooked again -- hence refried. Smoked ham hock is available at most grocery store meat counters and butcher shops. Once cooked, it can be used to add flavor to soups and stocks.

  • Servings: 6

Source: Martha Stewart Living, June 2009


  • 1 pound dried pinto beans, soaked overnight in cold water, rinsed, and drained
  • 1/2 medium white onion
  • 1 head garlic, halved crosswise
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 smoked ham hock (about 4 ounces)
  • 2 jalapeno chiles, halved lengthwise (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


  1. Combine soaked beans, onion, garlic, oregano, cumin, and ham hock, and jalapenos if desired, in a heavy 6-quart pot, and cover with water by 3 inches. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook until beans are tender, adding more water if needed to keep beans covered, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

  2. Remove onion, garlic, and jalapenos from pot; discard. Remove ham hock, and reserve for another use. Ladle out cooking liquid and reserve, until it covers beans by only 1/4 inch. Add salt, paprika, and pepper. Using a potato masher, mash beans into a coarse puree, adding reserved liquid if desired.

Cook's Notes

This recipe starts with dried beans. If you're pressed for time, you can quick-soak the beans instead of letting them stand overnight. Cover the beans with water by three inches in a large pot, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, cover, and let the beans stand for one hour before draining them, and proceed with step 1.

Reviews Add a comment

  • Tim123
    15 FEB, 2014
    Martha, you are my secret love. This recipe simply adds more proof of this. :)
  • inigomontoyayoukilledmyfatherp
    28 AUG, 2013
    ooh lordy! dem beans is goooood!
  • SwoosieQ
    21 MAR, 2012
    OMG! I am never going to buy Refried Beans in a can again. These are the best! Had to tone down the jalapeno by taking out seeds and membranes as children were going to be eating these also. And leaving 1/4 inch of liquid after ladling out of the cooked beans was way too much! Made more of a soup (which was great also) so made them again and ladled the cooking liquid to slightly below the top of the cooked beans. Yummy!!!