I got this from another group. Sorry I don't remember where. I have not made it yet, but I will be this week.

Larry?s Culver City Refried Beans

Back in my Navy days when I was going to school in
Culver City, California to learn how to use some new
Equipment for a destroyer that was being built, we
Would frequent the Mexican restaurants in and around
Los Angeles. The food and refried beans were
Excellent. Claudia, my Wife, has been trying to
Duplicate the food and refried beans for many years.
The beans have never cut the mustard with me. They
Were too dry and course. Finally, I told her that. She
Said, ?you don?t like ?em, you make ?em.? So, I did.

First, I asked her how she did it. She used canned
Pinto beans and drained the liquid from the can and
Dumped it down the sink before putting the beans in a
Frying pan. I researched the Internet on the subject
And came-up with several promising recipes. Most of
Them used dried beans. I asked Claudia to pick me up
Some dried, black Mexican beans the next time she went
Shopping. She came back with one pound of dried Goya
Small Red Beans. I used a mix from the recipes I found
On the Internet plus some of my own preferences and
Tried to make it simple?I wanted good refried beans,
Not a new career. I got real lucky and made (with some
Of Claudia?s expert help) the best refried beans I
Have eaten since Culver City, dinning in restaurants
In other parts of California, and visits to several
Places in Mexico. Here?s the recipe:

Serves 10-12 people.


1 lb. Of dry Goya Small Red Beans or Hurst's Red
Kidney Beans

4 cups of water

4 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

? Half of a large yellow onion

2 - 4 heaping Tablespoons of oregano (1 tablespoon
Dry)?we used fresh out of the garden
2 Good-sized garlic clove (I used White Soft Neck;
German Hard Neck would probably be a little better)

2 Large Shallots (optional--in addition to the onion)

3 Hungarian Yellow Wax pepper (optional)

1 - 2 Tablespoons dried basil (optional)


1. I start in the evening two or three days before
Having a Mexican dinner (or make for freezer).

2. Sort through beans and remove any foreign material.

3. Wash beans in strainer, rinsing a couple of times.

4. Put in 3-quart saucepan and add 4 cups of water.

5. Put a lid on the pan and let it soak overnight.

6. Remove any floaters.

7. Chop-up the onion. Doesn?t have to be too fine. It
Will disappear.

8. Chop-up the oregano.

9. Chop-up the pepper, seeds and all.

10. Squash the garlic cloves with the side of a knife
Or meat clever (once squashed the skins are then
Easily removed).

11. Put the pan on the stove, add all of the
Ingredients except two of the four tablespoons of
Olive oil (no salt), and bring to a full boil (that
Should kill anything harmful).

12. We then put the contents of the saucepan in an
Electric crock-pot and let it cook for about two hours
At medium heat with the lid on. You can probably
Accomplish the same results by simmering in thesaucepan for two hours on a stove with the lid ajar.
The idea is to end-up with beans that are soft, but
Not entirely falling apart.

13. Do not drain the liquid off the beans at any step
In this process. It is the secrete to good refried

14. After cooking remove the beans, let them cool with
The lid on, and put them in the refrigerator for a day
Or two. That seems to enhance the flavors. Refried
Beans are made from leftovers.

15. Cover the bottom of a frying pan with the

Remaining olive oil (about two tablespoons) and apply
Medium heat.

16. Remove enough beans and liquid for the people who
Will be dinning. We put the rest in three or four
Plastic zip-lock bags, apportion the liquid among
Them, and freeze them.

17. Put the beans in a frying pan (the Mexicans use a
Black iron frying pan; we don't) and start reducing
The beans.

18. While the beans are reducing, squash them to the
Desired consistency. We use a wooden pestle.

19. Keep stirring (and squashing) with a fork so the
Beans and liquid will not stick to the bottom of the

20. Reduce so the beans are sort-of sticking together
To the desired consistency (refried beans, not
soup?they should clump somewhat in the frying pan and
the bottom will show).

21. We serve topped with a tablespoon of sour cream
and a sprinkle chopped green onions. Like most
restaurants, we do not have them as a main dish.

We have tried this recipe with dried black beans,
pinto beans, Hust's red kidney beans, and Goya small
red beans. All were good, but the red kidney beansand small red beans are little better tasting than the
others. The shallots and basil add a unique taste
(and smell while cooking). We use the large "Frogs'
Legs" shallots, which we grow in our garden. I strain
the dried basil through an old fashioned metal mesh
strainer to remove course stems, etc. One can also use
the first part of this recipe as a starting point for
making some very good chili and boston baked beans (we
use northern or navy beans; they are white). This is
really worth the small effort it takes. The dry beans
cost noticeably less than the canned ones. Try it!
Larry huxcw.com