I love beans: they're full of iron, they are healthy and fill you up. They're delicious in soups, boiled, with rice, in tostadas or tacos and of course in the classic Mexican style: refried! They are part of the staple diet of Mexican people just as much as tortillas and chillies are. I don't have any hang ups about their colour or texture, or in deed the fact that just piled on a plate, they look highly unattractive! I just like them too much for that. I try to make my refried beans as healthy as possible. I know, I know: refried and healthy in the same sentence sounds like a total contradiction, but believe me, this refried beans are, so enjoy them with the knowledge that the term 'refried' only means 'cooked twice'.
Note: I prefer pinto beans as they're readily available in supermarkets in Ireland, but if you come across the black bean variety (also known as 'Turtle Beans', they're black and have a tiny white dot where the sprout was) use them, they're incredible tasty and have a higher content of iron.
Open the packet of beans and go though them quickly scanning for any little stones. Put the beans in a colander and rinse them well with cold water under the tap. Put them in the pressure cooker pot and pour the water from the recipe over them. Add the table salt and put the lid on. Turn the heat on high and bring the pressure cooker to a whistle point. lower the heat to medium low and cook the beans for 40 minutes. Take the pressure cooker off the heat and let it decompress naturally.
Once the security valve in the pressure cooker is down, take the lid off and check the beans. They should be soft and fully cooked now. Spoon the beans into the blender jug or your food processor making sure to use some of the beans' juices to aid the blending process. If your blender or food processor is struggling, ad some juices or a little bit of water. The beans should be runny as they thicken a lot when they're 'refried'.
If you don't have a blender or a food processor, use a potato masher or a fork. It's a bit more work and your beans will not be smooth, but they will have more texture.
Heat the lard / oil in a non-stick pan big enough to hold all of the beans. If you are using oil and rashers, cook the rashers in the pan until they are crispy and have released all their fat into the pan, remove them and use the oil and fat to cook the beans in it instead of the fat. Add the liquidized beans to the lard and stir well with a wooden or plastic spoon. Cook the beans at medium heat for 10 minutes or until they have thicken considerably. Stir constantly during this time to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pan and burn. Burnt beans have an awful smell and taste, so be careful.
Your refried beans are ready to eat. They will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, but I recommend you to freeze them is you're not planning to use them within a week. I normally cook this, use what I need on the day and portion the rest for freezing. Thaw them out overnight in the fridge or for a few hours outside. Re-heating can be done in a pan (add a little water if needs be) or in the microwave. They're really tasty and good for you!