This butter rich dish was ideal for working farmhands who have to do most of the farm work manually. It uses dried beans which have been soaked overnight. In Tudor times, dried foods were very important during the winter months when fresh food was scarce. This dish is cooked in a pan standing close to the fire.
Onions, parsley and leeks were used to add flavour to the dried beans. The cooking pots have 3 legs or are stood on trivets with 3 feet; this helps the pot to stand safely on the uneaven hearth. The pot lids are made from wood and fit inside the pot so they do not burn. Moving the pots closer and further away from the fire controls the cooking temperature.
Here is the original recipe.
"To Frye Beanes
Take the beanes (probably broad beans) and boil them, and then put into a
frying pan with a dishful of butter, and one or two onions, and let them fry
until browned, and then add a little salt, herbs and serve."
For pictures of the cooking process see our Refried Beans Picture Gallery.