- April 2011
- Serves 6
- Hands on time 30 minutes, 2 hours 20 minutes cooking time, plus overnight soaking
This traditional Mexican dish is the perfect accompaniment to fajitas and tacos, or with huevos rancheros for breakfast.
- 18g (4.9g saturated)
- 36.4g (1.9g sugars)
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 medium onions, finely chopped
- ¼ tsp chilli flakes
- 350g dried pinto beans, soaked overnight in cold water
- 1½ tsp salt
- 200g smoked bacon lardons, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 50g crumbled feta cheese or coarsely grated cheese, such as Cheddar or Manchego
- Chopped fresh coriander to serve
- Heat 3 tbsp oil in a large pan or flameproof casserole, add half the onions and fry gently for 10 minutes until golden brown. Add the chilli flakes and fry for 1 minute. Drain and rinse the beans, then add to the pan and cover with 1 litre cold water. Bring to the boil, part-cover with a lid and simmer for 1¾-2 hours until the beans are tender. Stir regularly and top up with a little boiling hot water from the kettle if need be, to keep them just covered. Add the salt and simmer for 10 more minutes. Remove and set aside.
- Heat the remaining oil in another pan or flameproof casserole over a medium heat, then add the bacon. Cook until it releases its fat, then increase the heat and cook until crisp and lightly golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- 3. Add the remaining onion to the bacon oil in the pan and fry for 10 minutes, stirring now and then, until golden. Stir in the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more. With a slotted spoon, add a quarter of the cooked beans, leaving most of the liquid behind. With a potato masher, mash the beans roughly into a very coarse purée. Add another portion of beans and repeat until you have used all the beans. Add a little of the cooking liquid if necessary until you have a thick, creamy paste (make them slightly wetter than you want; they will thicken up as they sit). Taste, then season with more salt if need be. Cover and set aside.
- Spoon into a warmed serving bowl, then scatter with the bacon, cheese and coriander. (If serving with the huevos rancheros, you could scatter the crispy bacon lardons over those instead.) Serve.
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