Corn tortillas and refried beans

Matt Tebbutt goes all out to impress with his delicately spiced refried beans, served alongside tortillas made from scratch
By Matt Tebbutt
Corn tortillas and refried beans
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the refried beans

  • 750 g black beans, soaked overnight
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 whole head of garlic, halved
  • 1 stick celery
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 onion, halved
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely diced
  • at least 60 g butter
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • parsley, to garnish

For the tortillas

  • 225 g maize flour, (masa harina), finely ground
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 300 ml warm water

To serve

  • avocados
  • soured cream
  • lime wedges


1. For the refried beans: put the soaked beans into a saucepan and cover with water. Add the bayleaf, halved head of garlic and other stock vegetables. Bring the pan to the boil and then gently simmer for 2 hours. For the last half hour of cooking the beans season then with a good pinch of salt.

2. Once the beans are soft remove from the heat and drain, reserving any cooking liquor. Remove all the bits of vegetables and herbs from the beans.

3. In a wide heavy based pan sauté the diced onion and garlic in a good knob of butter until soft but not colouring. Add the cumin and fennel seeds and toast for a couple of minutes until fragrant. Add the drained beans along with about 50g of butter and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Continue to cook over a medium-low heat for about 10 ' 15 mins or until the beans are really flavourful. Finish with a scattering of chopped parsley.

4. For the tortillas: mix together the flour, a pinch of salt and the oil, then slowly add the water bit by bit. Once you have used up the water knead until you form a dough. Leave to one side until you are ready to cook.

5. When you are ready to cook the tortillas, roll them into small balls and either roll out between two sheet of clingfilm until as thin as you can get them or use a tortilla press. Dust the tortilla press with a little flour if necessary and flatten the tortillas.

6. Cook the tortillas in a griddle pan or frying pan until golden and slightly charred and puffed up on either side. Keep warm whilst you cook the rest of the batch.

7. Serve the tortillas with the refried beans.

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