Preparation / Directions:
To me, one of the biggest problems people have with making refried beans is getting the water level right, after they are cooked and ready to be mashed. If you leave too much water in the beans, and mash them, they will be runny, and you got a problem. If you take out too much of the water, they will be too dry, and it can be a hassle to add it back into the already mashed beans.
After the beans are cooked (please cook with some hickory smoked bacon, and what ever else you want in them), ladle out the water level until it is about 1/8 to 1/4 inch above the beans...just a thin layer of water left on top of the beans. Save ladled out juice just in case the beans are too dry.
Mash beans while still hot. Place beans in a casserole dish, sprinkle diced onion on top of them, and bake, uncovered, in oven at 350F for about 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkled long horn grated cheese on top of the beans, and put back in oven until cheese melts.
The other way we like to do ours is this. After mashing beans, let cool so they become more firm. Take a spatula and remove a portion of mashed beans from container, place in a medium hot Teflon coated skillet (they can tend to stick in a non coated skillet), and brown beans on bottom side.
Flip beans over and brown top side. While browning top side, add diced onions and grated cheese to browned side and let cheese melt.