Sunday, January 17, 2010

Carne con Chile Rojo y Frijoles Refritos

It was a cold and rainy Sunday evening in January.
When I got to Sonia's place, she had already pre-washed the pinto beans and they were boiling in a big pot of water.  The beans take about 1-2 hrs to cook.
We'll come back to the beans later.

Within minutes of my arrival, Sonia served me a glass of wine (what a good sis!) and we were ready to get started with the main dish!

Ingredients for main dish include:
3 guajillo chiles
2 tomatoes 
1 garlic clove
1/4 onion
2lbs. of beef flat meat (like the kind used for carne asada but without seasoning)
Mazola oil

First, we let the chiles marinate in water until the water turned red (20 minutes or so).  Sonia used a ziplock bag of water and placed the chiles inside.

We cooked the tomatoes in a pot of water.

Meanwhile, Sonia chopped the meat into strips.

We added little bit of water to a pan and cooked the meat through before we added about 2 tablespoons of Mazola oil.

I blended the chiles, tomatoes, garlic, and added some black pepper.

Drain the meat before you add the sauce!!!  (The exclamation points indicate that we forgot this step...oops!) 

Continue to simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened, while adding salt to taste.  
We tasted the meat at all stages.  We were worried that it was too bland at first.  But after simmering longer, we realized the taste of the chile sauce gets stronger as it thickens. So be patient...

Don't forget to refill your glass of wine (or other libation of choice) while you wait! :)

Now, back to the beans....
Once the beans were soft (cooked), we poured them into a pan with a large spoon.  Make sure you get some of that juice in there too.  Bring to a boil before adding about 3/4 cups of Mazola oil (you can add more or less).
Note: Traditionally, refried beans are made with lard.  We opted for the "healthier" version.

Now mash the beans!!  Add salt to taste.
Your complete meal is now ready to serve!!

PS: I like using a bean masher  that allows me to  mash them until they're almost watery. Most regular potato mashers will leave little chunks, which is fine. However, my grandmother's beans were runny...and that's how I like mine. :-)

Warm up some tortillas.  We had some hand-made flour tortillas from Trader Joe's that were delicious! 
We also added cotjia cheese to the beans. Yum!
Our guinea pigs approved!

Every morsel was devoured.  Que rico!

If you're in search of a great bean masher , this is one I personally like. Enjoy!!