Recipe: Frijoles Negros Refritos (Refried Black Beans)

  • The List
  • 14 November 2014
Recipe: Frijoles Negros Refritos (Refried Black Beans)

The Squid and Whale chef Colin Campbell explains how to make this classic Mexican snack

Warming, hearty and very moreish, these lightly spiced, creamy refried beans are amazing as a snack with tortilla chips and are an essential accompaniment to most Mexican meals.

400g dried black beans
2 cloves chopped garlic
¼ diced white onion
Tablespoon of rapeseed oil
50g Trex vegetable fat
Paprika, ground coriander, ground cumin, cracked black pepper, salt – a teaspoon of


Place dried black beans in a mixing bowl and cover with fresh water. Soak for at least four hours, preferably overnight. The beans will expand, so place the bowl inside a larger dish that will catch any escapees. Drain in a sieve and briefly rinse under running water.

Place the beans in a heavy-based pot, cover with water and bring to boil. After two minutes, reduce to a gentle simmer. After an hour, check that they’re done by removing a couple of beans with a slotted spoon and squeezing them (allow them to cool slightly!). They should be soft and break up easily between your finger and thumb. If not, simmer for up to another hour, checking regularly. Once cooked, drain the beans into a sieve and wash well under running water. Heat a pot on medium heat and add rapeseed oil. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until onion is soft and translucent probably after four or five minutes. Add the Trex, the spices, salt and pepper and mix. Add the cooked beans, mix until heated through. Remove pot from heat and mash beans up with rest of ingredients. Mixture should be thicker than mashed potato and have a nice shimmer. If mixture is too dry, add a little bit more Trex while mashing. Season to taste. Garnish with chopped coriander, chives, crumbled cheese … anything you want!

Colin Campbell, The Squid and Whale,