Mexican frijoles and frijoles refritos are good Mexican-style pinto bean recipes. Add a variety of seasoning and toppings to the beans, such as cheese, cilantro or sour cream. For authentic Mexican cuisine, add the Mexican herb epazote to the beans.
To make Mexican frijoles, soak 1 pound of dried pinto beans overnight. Drain and rinse the beans, and set them aside. In a stock pot, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add 1/4 pound of sliced salt pork or bacon to the pot, and brown it for two minutes.
Reduce the heat to medium, and add 1 cup of chopped onions and 1 chopped jalapeno or serrano pepper. Cook the mixture for four minutes before adding 1 tablespoon of finely chopped garlic. Cook that for 1 minute, and then add the drained beans, 6 cups of water, 1/4 teaspoon of cumin seed and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cook this for 25 to 35 minutes or until the beans are tender.
To make frijoles refritos, begin with the Mexican frijoles recipe. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil or lard in a skillet. Saute 1/2 cup of onion for two to three minutes or until golden-brown. Add 2 teaspoons of minced garlic, and cook for 30 seconds. Add 2 cups of the Mexican frijoles plus 1/2 cup of water or bean cooking liquid to the skillet, and cook for two minutes, mashing the beans with the back of a spoon.
Cook the mixture down until it reaches the desired thickness. For an even smoother consistency, transfer the mixture to a food processor, and process until smooth.