I was all prepared to deem this recipe "refried" beans because they are not fried and by no means are they RE-fried.
But then I looked up refried beans on Wikipedia and I learned that frijoles refritos actually means "well-fried beans" not re-fried beans. And they are typically baked and not always fried. The misnomer is just in the English translation. So there you go.
In all honesty though, these were great. I made them on a Monday and used them for multiple meals throughout the week because I can never eat too much Mexican. The first night I just did some bean tacos, later I ate them as a side to a taco salad, and just wait until tomorrow to see the winning recipe of the week. :) If you are making them for a large family and want to have extra for leftovers, you could double the beans and seasoning without any issues. Alternatively, if you are anti-pinto beans, I could imagine you could substitute black beans and they would be just as excellent.
Slow Cooker Refried Beans (adapted from Chef in Training)
1 1/2 cups dried pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 chicken bouillon cube (or vegetable bouillon for vegetarian version)
1/2 tbsp garlic salt
1 small onion, skin removed and chopped in half
1-2 tbsp butter, optional*
salt and pepper, to taste
Place the rinsed and drained pinto beans in your slow cooker. Fill almost to the top with cold water. Add the bouillon cube, garlic salt and onion. Cook on low for 10-12 hours (or high for 5-6 hours). Test to make sure the beans are soft.
Strain the beans, reserving some of the liquid. Place the beans and onion in a large bowl, add the butter, and mash with a potato masher or fork until the desired consistency is reached. Add some of the cooking liquid if they begin to dry out. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Makes about 6 cups. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
*For a non-fat version, do not add butter.