Fearsome Refried (or whole) Beans

Fearsome Refried (or whole) Beans

Dry shelling beans are easy to grow and a great seed saving project. We have found that approximately 10 feet of plants in a double row yielded about 8 cups of dry beans. This is a perfect amount for 2-4 specialty dishes. Be sure to grow your beans with 15-30 foot isolation between other bean varieties so you can save some seed for planting next year!

We tested a recipe that we think would be great for upcoming get-togethers or just to have around the house. We used our Tiger’s Eye dry shelling bean for this particular recipe, but of course, a different variety can be used.

Just a heads up: there is some overnight prep work involved, so plan accordingly.



  • 3 cups of Tiger’s Eye dry shelling beans
  • 2 small hot peppers (finely chopped)
  • 1 medium-sized onion (finely chopped)
  • 3 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
  • 12 oz. of salt pork (cubed)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • A pinch of chili powder
  • 32 oz. broth (chicken or veggie)
  • 1 cup of white wine (we used a chardonnay


     Put the dried beans in a pot and cover with water. Soak overnight. Soaking neutralizes the Phytic acid which makes the beans more digestible.

    Note: we used a 6-quart Dutch oven, but any large oven-safe coking pot or stockpot should do. 

    The next day: discard the water and rinse the beans. Set beans aside in a separate dish.

    Preheat your over to at 225°F.

    Spray your pot with cooking spray and add the salt pork. Render the meat on medium/low heat for about 5-8 minutes.


    Remove meat from pot and set aside.

    Add your finely chopped onions to the pot and caramelize on medium/low heat for about 5 minutes.

    Add pinch of chili powder, chopped peppers, garlic, 1 cup of white wine, and the two bay leaves—stir.

    Add the salt pork and soaked beans back in.

    Stir in broth to cover.

    Stir all your ingredients for a minute or two; still over medium/low heat.

    Remove from heat, cover the pot, and bake in the oven (at 225°F) for 4-6 hours until beans are tender. 

    Stir beans halfway through baking time.

    Fresh from the oven!

    Fresh from the oven!

    Once cooked you can add pepper and other spices to taste. You can serve whole or mash until you reach the texture you prefer. Smooth or chunky, these beans are delicious!

    If you have leftovers (and that’s an if because dipping chips in these beans is addicting) you can always freeze the beans for future use.

    Author: Aaron J.

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