Refried bean burritos

    9 hours 50 min

    Pinto beans often feature in Mexican cooking, as their creamy texture makes them the perfect partner for strong flavours and spices. The beans aren't actually fried twice here, but are simmered first, then cooked gently in a little oil. Burritos make a hearty meal, needing no accompaniment and perhaps just some fruit to follow.

    6 people made this

    Serves: 6 

    • 250 g (8½ oz) dried pinto beans, soaked for at least 8 hours
    • 2 onions (1 quartered and 1 finely chopped)
    • 3 garlic cloves (2 whole and 1 finely chopped)
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1½ tbsp sunflower oil
    • salt and pepper
    • Tomato and chilli salsa
    • 450 g (1 lb) firm, ripe tomatoes, diced
    • 1 fresh green chilli, seeded and finely chopped
    • finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime
    • pinch of caster sugar
    • 3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
    • To serve
    • 8 large flour tortillas
    • 115 g (4 oz) Wensleydale cheese, grated
    • 1 cos lettuce, shredded
    • 125 g (4½ oz) Greek-style yogurt

    Prep:8hr20min  ›  Cook:1hr30min  ›  Ready in:9hr50min 

    1. Drain the soaked beans and rinse under cold running water. Put them in a large pan, cover with plenty of fresh water and add the quartered onion, 2 peeled garlic cloves and the bay leaves. Bring to the boil and boil rapidly for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat, partly cover and simmer gently for 45–60 minutes or until tender.
    2. Meanwhile, make the salsa by mixing together the tomatoes, chilli, lime zest and juice, sugar and coriander in a bowl. Cover and leave at room temperature until ready to serve.
    3. When the beans have finished cooking, spoon out 150 ml (5 fl oz) of the cooking liquid and reserve. Drain the beans, discarding the onion and bay leaves but reserving the garlic.
    4. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the finely chopped onion and garlic, and cook gently for 10 minutes or until soft. Add the reserved whole garlic cloves, a ladleful of the beans and a few spoonfuls of the reserved cooking liquid. Mash with a fork to break up the beans and garlic cloves.
    5. Continue adding the beans a ladleful at a time with a little of the liquid, cooking over a low heat and mashing, to make a dryish, slightly textured pure. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
    6. Meanwhile, heat the tortillas in the oven or in a microwave according to the packet instructions.
    7. Spoon the refried beans into the middle of the tortillas. Sprinkle with the cheese followed by the shredded lettuce, then add the yogurt. Roll up the tortillas to enclose the filling and serve immediately, with the tomato and chilli salsa.

    Another idea

    To make refried bean quesadillas, coarsely grate 200 g (7 oz) Monterey Jack, Wensleydale or mild Cheddar cheese. Heat a large frying pan or griddle over a moderately low heat. Take one of 8 large flour tortillas, place it in the pan and spoon 2–3 tbsp of the refried beans in the middle. Sprinkle one-eighth of the cheese over the bean pure and around the edge of the tortilla. Fold the tortilla over the filling to make a half-moon shape and press the edges together gently, so that the melting cheese seals them. Cook for 1 minute, then turn over and cook the other side for 1 minute. Remove from the pan and serve immediately or the cheese will become chewy. Alternatively, you can fill and fold the tortillas ahead of time, then cook them to order. Serve with a mango salsa made by mixing 1 finely chopped ripe mango with 2 seeded and sliced fresh chillies (1 green and 1 red) and the juice of 1/2 lime.

    Plus points

    Tortillas, a part of the staple diet in Mexico and other countries in Central and South America, may be made from wheat or from masa harina, a form of maize. Both types provide starchy carbohydrate, and make a great alternative to bread. * Vitamin C supplied by the tomatoes and lime juice in the salsa helps the absorption of the iron from the pinto beans.

    Each serving provides

    folate, copper * A, B1, E, niacin, calcium, iron, potassium, zinc * B2, B6, C, selenium

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