Friday, May 24, 2013

Gable Family Beans: The Heart of Our Mexican Food Dinners

Posted by Devin

When my brother-in-law first married his wife Olga, they went grocery shopping and she started to buy some canned refried beans. "Oh no." he told her. "Gables do not buy CANNED beans!" And such was her introduction to Gable Family Mexican Food.  There are 3 boys in my husband's family and all of us daughter-in-laws have been indoctrinated and taught how to cook Mexican food like a true Gable. We have all joked about the "ban on canned beans" through the years, but honestly, I wouldn't go back. The food is sooooooooo good!

At the very heart of a Gable family Mexican meal are the homemade pinto beans. They aren't difficult to make (my mother-in-law frequently cooks them on the stove but I ALWAYS make them in the crockpot, the method I will show you) and they really do take any Mexican dish to the next level of freshness and flavor.

Gable Family Beans
2 cups pinto beans
6 1/2 cups water
1 medium or large onion, diced
1 pickled jalapeno, diced
2 slices bacon, raw
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt

Put everything in the crockpot and cook for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high.
Before Cooking:
After Cooking:
That is it! Seriously, it really isn't MUCH more difficult than opening a can of beans, right? Many of the Gables like to make bean burros and other dishes with the beans just as they are. I, however, usually like to refry my beans.

To Refry the Beans
Using a large spoon, remove desired amount of beans from your crockpot and pour into a large frying pan. I discard any bacon at this point, because really, how are you supposed to mash that up?!!

Make sure that you get just enough of the juice to keep the beans from becoming too dry. Take a potato masher (I always refer to them as bean mashers, which sometimes leads to people giving me funny looks) and mash your beans. Turn your burner on to medium heat and stir with a spatula until warm.

Now that you have delicious, homemade refried beans you are ready for some serious Mexican yumminess. Our favorite thing to do with them is make bean and cheese burritos. Get yourself some tortillas (we refuse to buy anything other than Tortilla Land Fresh Uncooked Flour Tortillas that you simply cook quickly up on a warm skillet, this is a purchase you would not regret), shredded Mexican blend cheese, salsa (homemade Gable Family Salsa recipe soon to come on the blog) and any other garnishes that you may like (lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream) and you are ready!

Congratulations! You have completed the first and most essential step in Gably Family Mexican Cooking! I hope you all enjoy!

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