The Daddy takeover: Holy Frijoles!

Today’s guest post comes from Ed Owen, the editor of DaddyBeGood, a website dedicated to fathers who want to be more involved with their kids and are looking for ideas and practical ways to enhance family life. It is written by dads, for dads.

I thought it’d be good to give the guys a shout-out and cheekily asked them to share a recipe on Feeding Boys in return 🙂


A recipe fit for cowboys - chaps optional

This is one of the cheapest and easiest recipes to make, and is very tasty indeed.

There is a single drawback – the first stage of cooking is a little smoky, so open the windows before you start. Or perhaps cook outside if that’s an option.

Cowboys’ Refried Beans


3 cloves garlic
Vegetable oil
2 tins of kidney or pinto beans
1 medium onion

For the sauce:
1 onion
1 tin tomatoes
Chilli (optional)

To serve:

Soured cream, avocado/guacamole (optional), rice, lime wedges

Refried Beans is a corruption of ‘frijoles refritos’, which really mean ‘well-fried’ beans rather than beans fried twice. I can confirm that frying twice makes no difference to the taste. In Mexico the beans are always pinto beans, which are brown, but red kidney beans also work wonderfully.

The first step is the trickiest – you need to burn garlic. I have made this dish hundreds of times, and did wonder if the kerfuffle of burning the garlic really makes any difference. It really does. With the burnt garlic this is utterly delicious. Without, it is actually a little bland.

Add a generous slug of vegetable oil to a frying pan – rapeseed oil works really well but not olive oil, which will itself burn. Get the pan good and hot. Squash the three cloves of garlic and just chuck them into the pan and get them frying. After a few minutes turn them over and keep them frying until they are black and completely charred. This could take 10 mins. It will get a rather smoky so leave the windows open.

Take the garlic out, chuck it and wait for the smoke to clear. The flavour is now contained in the oil. Don’t worry if there are a few tiny bits of burnt garlic left in the pan. Leave it to cool for a little and then add chopped onion and garlic to the pan and fry it up in the now flavoursome oil.

Rinse the 2 tins of beans and add them to the onion and garlic. I have also tried this recipe with dried beans and left them to soak, boiled them and so on. It really wasn’t worth it and tasted no better.

Fry for a few minutes and then add some water until the whole pan is a bubbling mess. Mash everything up with a masher or a fork and the result will be a sticky brown concoction.

The beans are now ready – serve right away or re-heat when everything else is ready to go.

For the sauce, just fry some onion, garlic and chili, and add a tin of tomatoes and heat for about half an hour. Of course younger family members may object to chilli content, so perhaps have some more chilli on hand for those that like it hot.

Lastly, serve with rice, avocado or guacamole and soured cream.

The dish comes in the colours of the Mexican flag – red from the tomato, white from the cream and rice and green from the avocado.

Perhaps better than how it tastes is that you can eat the lot with a spoon. This is great because it means you can eat it outside and in front of a blazing fire rather like any cowboy you care to mention in a western.

It is also easy enough to make if you are camping.

In Mexico the beans come with every meal including breakfast. A typical dish will have some meat or fish, beans, slices of avocado, some salad, perhaps some fried potatoes and bread tortillas. Oh, and everything topped-off with a slice of lime and red-hot habanero chilli sauce.


Special offer for the summer hols!

Thanks to DaddyBeGood, dads can go FREE to more than 200 attractions around the country until the end of August. Dads just need to register on the website to redeem the offer.


About Katie Bryson

Katie Bryson is a freelance food writer and blogger. She left a career in online news at the BBC to immerse herself in the culinary world, taking in courses at Leiths School of Food and Wine and an internship at Waitrose along the way. Her family food blog is bursting with recipes and tips for feeding hungry families that’ll help inspire all those frazzled parents out there wondering what on earth to cook for tea!
This entry was posted in Side dishes, Speedy suppers, vegetarian and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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