Saturday, 15 January 2011

Guest Post from Lizzie Butterworth of Grub du Jour Blog: Refried Beans with Roast Pepper and Sweet Potato Mash

The cold winter months, to me, call for beans. Not baked beans, broad beans or green beans, but a big pile of spicy pulses. They’re so warming - I’m not sure whether it’s the creamy texture, the way they taste, or the magical way they pair with chilli.

Refried beans are always a winner for me. When it’s cold and dark outside and you’ve had a long day at work, you can be munching through a Mexican feast without a lot of work. This winter, I’ve devised a more seasonal accompaniment. It’s just too cold for salad!

Here’s what I used for the beans:

• 2 cans of red kidney beans

• 1 desert spoonful of ground cumin

• 5 jalapeno slices

• About 500ml vegetable stock

• A little cooking oil

And for the mash:

• 2 small sweet potatoes

• 1 orange pepper

• A dash of lemon juice

And here’s what I did:

1. Chop the pepper and put it in the oven to roast on around 220°C. Check it frequently and turn the heat down if it starts to brown.

2. Peel and chop the sweet potatoes, and set them boiling.

3. Open and drain the beans, and chop the jalapenos. Make up the stock in a measuring jug.

4. Heat a little oil in a frying pan, with 1 bean. When it starts to sizzle, add the rest, with the cumin and jalapenos. Stir them round, and periodically give them a squish with the back of a wooden spoon. If they start to dry out and stick to the pan, add some stock and give them a stir and another squish.

5. When the pepper is nice and soft, after about 20-30 minutes, take it out of the oven. Drain the sweet potatoes, and mash them. Add the pepper and mash it in thoroughly, and stir in a dash of lemon juice.

6. When the beans are thick and smooth, give them one last mash with the wooden spoon and you’re ready to serve!

7. Tuck in, enjoy, and let your cares and the winter weather melt away! We turn this into a veggie feast with tortillas and cheese. If you must, you can use refried beans as a component of a meat meal, but I think they deserve to be the star of the show.


Thank you to Lizzie for this great post! 


  1. Thanks for reminding me of this dish, love chillies & perfect for dinner on a wintry day like today :)

  2. Indeed,it's great to bring a little Mexican heat and sunshine to a cold January!

  3. Refried beans is one of my standbys - delicious. We usually have a spoon of Greek yogurt with it too.

  4. Mm, that sounds worth a try- much healthier than sour cream!