optional garnish:crumbled queso or cotijo cheese, cilantro
Rinse the beans and remove any debris. Soak them in water in the refrigerator overnight (10 - 12 hours). Drain.
Add the soaked beans to a large pot, along with the onions, salt, and bay leaves. Fill the pot with water so that there is about 2" of water above the beans.
Bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer, cover and cook for about 1 hour, or until beans have cooked through and are soft. Keep an eye on the beans while they cook and add water periodically if it starts to get low.
Remove the bay leaves and onion; discard. Reserve about 2 cups of the water, and drain the rest.
In a large pot or skillet, over medium heat, add the fat/oil and the garlic and saute until just fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the beans to the skillet and cook for a few minutes.
Lower heat and mash the beans using a fork or a potato masher, adding the reserved water a little at a time, until you've reached your desired texture and consistency. Salt to taste and garnish as desired.
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