Here's the quick and dirty, non-authentic recipe that I use. I prefer the taste of the black beans instead of pintos.
Refried Black Beans
1 (15 oz) can black beans with liquid
1/2 cup red or green salsa (Pace, La Victoria, etc)
1/4 cup grated cheese (pepper jack, etc)
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried onion flakes
1/2 tsp granulated garlic
1/8 tsp salt (table, seasoning, smoked, etc)
2 Tbsp salad oil
1 Tbsp bacon bits
2 Tbsp cold water
1 Tbsp cornstarch
Add beans, salsa, cheese, chili powder, onion,
garlic, salt, oil and bacon bits to a saucepan.
Heat and simmer 5-minutes.
Partially mash with fork or partially blend with a stick blender.
Mix cold water with cornstarch and add to refried beans.
Simmer for 2-minutes until liquid in beans thickens.
How's 'bout I just give you the best frijoles recipe I've got?
4 c. Pinto beans
6 c. water
3 T. salt
Wash beans; heat water to lukewarm in a heavy pot and add beans. Cover; cook slowly for roughly 2 hours or until beans are v. tender. Add salt at that point. Drain beans and reserve cooking liquid; set one c. beans aside.
Salsa de Frijoles
1/2 c. drippings or oil
1 finely chopped clove garlic
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. chopped green pepper
1 c. reserved cooked beans
2 c. reserved cooking liquid
1 1/2 t. best chili powder; more to taste
freshly ground pepper; cumin to taste if desired.
Heat drippings; saute all veg till limp. Add 1/2 c. beans and mash well. add 1 c. liquid and incorporate. Repeat w/ rest of reserved beans and liquid. Cook over med. heat until thick, and add the seasonings to taste. Pour over rest of beans; mix thoroughly, heat well, and serve.
Out of curiosity, I looked up 5 refried beans recipes, including yours. I thought it was interesting that they varied so much in oil content (from 2 tablespoons to 1 cup. They all used about a pound of beans. Most called for vegetable oil, 1 called for lard or drippings and yours called for drippings or oil. Oh and only 1 called for salt pork in cooking the beans the first time.
The one that called for the lard also called for the salt pork.
I suspect the recipe that called for the lard or bacon drippings and the salt pork is closest to the Mexican poverty cooking that this dish probably sprang from.
I'm not criticizing in the slightest. I just have a tendency to look at several recipes of the same thing and analyze the differences.
re: Hank Hanover
Why hank h., I do the very same thing myself, plus I poll my friends who cook and beg their best recipes to supplement my repertoire. Sometimes you can totally tell by a quick analysis what will work/taste/etc. better. And as a minor food historian, regional differences and la cucina povera are especially interesting. I totally get ya.