In a big skillet (I used a deep, 9-inch one), fry the diced bacon on a medium heat in a tablespoon olive oil to give it some fat-melting color. Don’t let the bacon crisp too much. Rather cook it gently with a few stirs for about 5 minutes. You want its fat to mix nicely with the olive oil. Good.
Now add the onions and garlic. Continue frying on that medium heat for another 7 minutes or so, until the onions soften and begin to barely take on a little colour - barely.
Add the beans, mix everything together really well and drop the heat to low-medium. Continue to cook with the odd thorough stir until the beans just start to catch on the bottom of the skillet, and they start to very slightly crisp. That’ll take maybe 10 minutes. The beans should be pretty dry – apparently, the Mexican term ‘refrito’ beans doesn’t so much mean refried but rather ‘well fried’ beans.
Remove from the heat and roughly mash the beans with a potato masher and season with salt and pepper. Don’t mash into a puree, you want to keep this pretty chunky. Done. Empty the beans into an oven-proof bowl and set them to keep warm in that low oven.
Wipe the skillet clean and set it on a high heat with four tablespoons of olive oil. That’s where the tortillas are heading when it’s good and hot.