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Rinse pinto beans in a colander, removing any unwanted pebbles or pieces that may be in the bag.
Add the beans to a large pot, cover with water and soak overnight.
Drain soaked beans and return them to the pot. Add fresh water to cover the beans up to two inches above them. Add onion to the pot and a couple dashes of salt.
Bring beans to a boil, cover and simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally. Check the beans and if they’re not completely cooked after one hour, let them simmer a few minutes longer until they’re done.
Drain the beans, removing the onion and reserving the bean broth water.
In a large skillet (preferably an iron skillet), heat lard or oil over medium heat.
Add the garlic and stir. Add the beans, cumin, oregano and 1/4 cup of the bean broth. (You could also chop the reserved onion and add it to the pan).
Cook, gently smashing the beans as they cook with a potato masher or fork.
Continue stirring and mashing, adding additional bean broth as needed until you get the texture you like and the beans are the consistency of soft mashed potatoes. Taste and season with additional salt, cumin and oregano, as needed. Top with shredded cheese, if desired.