REFRIED BROWN OR BLACK BEANS : Frijoles Refritos
Refried beans are usually mashed with plenty of fat, which makes them creamy and filling but a bit too rich for most people’s taste. This lightened-up version uses a little fresh lard for flavor and plenty of the cooking liquid to make a smooth and delicious side dish. (If you want something richer, try the Frijoles Puercos.) Don’t add salt to this dish; there is salt in the liquid used to cook the beans, and at any rate the beans should be a little underseasoned, to play off the big tastes of the entrees and salsas they usually accompany.
2 tablespoons fresh lard or canola or corn oil ¼ cup finely minced white onion 1 small clove garlic, minced (optional) 4 cups cooked beans with their cooking liquid Water or Caldo de Pollo, as needed