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1. In a medium-sized pan warm bacon fat over medium heat. Add onion and bacon. Cook about 10 minutes. Add garlic, chile pepper, and peas. Pour enough stock to cover. Increase heat; bring to boiling. Reduce heat to barely simmering. Cook 45 minutes to 1 hour, until peas are tender. Add salt, cumin, and chili powder. Cool in pan. Transfer to a clean container. Refrigerate 1 hour. If desired, remove and discard chile de arbol.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. For refried peas, in 8-inch cast iron skillet heat oil over medium-high. Mash peas with fork. Add to hot skillet. Reduce heat to medium; stir occasionally until hot. Top with cheese. Transfer skillet to oven. Bake 20 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro, if desired. Serve warm. Makes 8 servings.