2 1/2 cups of dry pinto beans (about 1 lb)
3 quarts of water
1 onion, chopped
1 Tbsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp (or more to taste) olive oil
1 tsp chile powder (more or less to taste)
2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 - 1/2 cup water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese (optional)
6 slices cooked, crumbled bacon (optional)
Rinse the beans in water and remove any small stones, pieces of dirt, or bad beans.
Put beans into a large pot and cover beans with at least 3 inches of water - about 3 quarts for 2 1/2 cups of dry beans. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to simmer, covered, for about 2 1/2 hours. The cooking time will vary depending on the batch of beans you have. The beans are done when they are soft and the skin is just beginning to break open.
Strain the beans from the cooking water. Place back into pot and mash with a potato masher until a rough puree.
In a large electric skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent. Add the strained beans and about a 1/4 cup of water to the pan. Add chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Add more water if necessary to keep the fried beans from getting too dried out.
Add cheese and bacon (if desired). When beans are heated through the beans are ready to serve.