I have been tweaking this recipe for about a year and I finally have it just the way we like it. It is one of those great recipes that you dump everything in the slow cooker and wait for the magic.
Canned refried beans just don't "do it" for us after trying this one. Honestly, I could just eat this with a spoon right out of the slow cooker...forget the toppings.
1 medium sweet onion (cut in half but not chopped)
3 cups of rinsed (and sorted) DRY pinto beans
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
3 tsp. chili powder
6 slices of crisp bacon (crumbled)
1 tsp. ground cumin
(1) 4 ounce can green mild chiles
½ fresh jalapeno (seeded and chopped)
9 cups water
Put everything in the crockpot and cook on high for 8 hours or till tender. Drain but reserve liquid. Put drained bean mixture into the food processor and puree, adding just enough of the reserved bean liquid to make the beans the right consistency. Keep warm in the crock pot.
NOTE: No need to pre-soak the beans
NOTE: Check the beans after 6-7 hours, if it looks like they are losing too much liquid, add another cup of water.
NOTE: I put the cooked onion (from the crockpot) in the food processor with the beans. A few pulses and it disappears.
NOTE: It's up to you how finely you puree the beans. If you like your refried beans a little chunky, just pulse them a few times.
NOTE: I use a medium size sweet onion, like a Vidalia
NOTE: Leave out the bacon if you are going vegetarian.