I live in LA, where Mexican food is good, abundant, and cheap. Why make my own beans? Because these are delicious.
1 lb. dried pinto beans
1 small white onion, thinly sliced
2 tbsp. lard or canola oil [I used canola]
1 large tomato, chopped [I used 2 roma tomatoes]
2 garlic cloves, smashed
10 springs of cilantro [I omitted this]
2 jalapenos [I used one and split it down the side]
Bring beans, onion, lard or oil, tomato, garlic, cilantro, jalapenos, a tablespoon of salt, [chipotle chili powder] and 8 cups warm water to a boil in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, covered and stirring occasionally, until beans are just tender and begin to split open, about 2 hours. Taste. Add salt if necessary and continue cooking, mashing some of the beans in the pot as they cook, until beans are completely soft, about 30 minutes more. I let mine cook a bit longer and kept smashing for a refried-bean-like consistency.