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Chorizo Refried Beans

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  • Author: María
  • Total Time: 9 hours 35 minutes
  • Yield: 10 1x


I use chicken chorizo, but any kind will work, even soy-rizo! 


Units Scale
  • 1 lb dry pinto beans
  • 1 lb chorizo, casing removed
  • 10 C water, plus more for soaking
  • 1 white onion, quartered
  • 1 jalapeno, halved
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp chicken bouillon
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil, plus more as needed
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder


  1. The night before you intend you cook this dish add the pinto beans to a large bowl and add enough water to cover them by two inches. Give them a stir and let them soak until you’re ready to cook, or at least 8 hours.
  2. After the beans have soaked you’ll notice that they’ve swelled quite a bit, and some skins might be starting to pop off. Remove any beans floating on the surface of the water, loose skin, and other debris, as well as any beans that just look weird or like they’ve got an attitude. Drain the beans in a colander.
  3. Place a large stockpot on the stove and add the beans to it, along with the 10 cups of water. Use more or less if needed – you just want to make sure the beans are covered, again by about two inches of water. Turn the heat on to high and toss in the jalapeno, onion, garlic cloves, and salt. Stir and bring to a rolling boil.
  4. Once the beans are boiling skim any foam that’s accumulated off the surface of the water, then stir in the chicken bouillon. Once that has dissolved completely turn the heat down to medium and let the beans boil gently until tender, about an hour.
  5. Drain the beans into a large bowl, reserving at least 4 cups of the bean broth that’s formed – how much you’ll need will depend on your preference so save all of it or at least more than you think you’ll need just in case. Pick out the garlic, jalapeno, and onion pieces, and set the beans aside.
  6. Place a large – I recommend 10″ at least – cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and add a teaspoon of vegetable oil. Swirl it around to coat the surface of the pan, then add the chorizo – make sure you’ve peeled off that clear skin holding it together, we only want to ground meat inside. Let the chorizo sear undisturbed for two minutes, then use a wooden spoon to break it up into small pieces, turning as you go to ensure it cooks evenly.
  7. Just before the chorizo is entirely cooked through, clear the center of the pan to make room for the beans – just push the chorizo out the edges of the pan. Add the remaining vegetable oil to the center of the pan, then pour in the beans.
  8. Stir the beans and chorizo together, and once they’re well-combined stir in about two cups of the bean broth. Stir constantly, checking the consistency – the broth will be absorbed pretty quickly. You want the beans to be pretty loose at this point, so if you can see the dry surface of the pan between stirs, add more broth.
  9. Once enough broth has been incorporated that you can stir for a good 15-20 seconds without seeing too much of the pan surface between stirs, stir the chili powder and cumin in. Give it a taste and add salt if you need it.
  10. Next, use a potato masher or the back of the wooden spoon to begin mashing the beans. You’ll want to mash about half of the beans. Alternatively, you can transfer half to a blender or food processor and puree them, then return them to the skillet.
  11. Once the beans are mashed to your desired consistency continue stirring and scraping the bottom and sides of the pan as they cook for about five minutes. They should dry out quite a bit, but don’t add any broth here – you’re pan-frying the beans a bit.
  12. After five minutes stir half a cup of bean broth into the beans. Once that’s worked in all the way, you’ll be the judge of how much more broth you add. You can stop here if you like thick, dry beans. Keep in mind they will dry out even more as they rest. OK, dassit! 
  13. Now make some tacos


  • Refer to the post above this recipe for alternative methods for soaking and mashing the beans. 
  • Prep Time: 8 hours 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
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