In a heavy skillet (I used a cast iron one), fry the 2 slices bacon until crispy on medium high heat. Remove the bacon and set aside. Chop into small pieces when cooled.
Meanwhile, add to the bacon grease the onion; sauté until soft and slightly browned (about 2 minutes).
Add the chili powder (1 teaspoon) and cayenne pepper (1/4 teaspoon); stir to coat the onions.
Add the drained and rinsed pinto beans and chicken stock (1/2 cup). Use a potato masher (or a fork) to mash the beans to desired texture, then stir to incorporate with the liquid.
Continue heating until heated through. If there is too much liquid, continue heating until some of the liquid has evaporated, until you reach the desired consistency, stirring frequently, keeping in mind the beans will thicken as they cool.
Stir in cilantro (1/4 cup), chopped bacon, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.
Like super creamy refried beans? Puree the beans and stock in a blender or food processor before adding to the skillet.
Vegetarian? Use butter to sauté the onion, omit the bacon, and use veggie stock or water. For a vegan option, use olive or canola oil.
Make ahead Instructions: They can be made ahead of time and reheated, but they *may* dry out just a little bit as they sit in your fridge. Adding a little water or a squeeze of lime juice should help with that.
The provided nutrition information does not include any added sodium from seasoning to taste, any optional ingredients, and it does not take brands into account. Feel free to calculate it yourself using this calculator or by adding the recipe to Yummly.