1jalapeno pepperpulp, seeds removed, chopped (or more to taste)
1/2teaspoondried Mexican or Italian oregano
1bay leafsmall to medium size
2dashes smoked paprika
1teaspoonground black pepper
1/4cupreal bacon bitsto be added after the beans are cooked and mashed
1tablespoonolive oilto be added after the beans are cooked and mashed
Salt and pepper to tasteto be added after the beans are cooked and mashed
For the Roasted Garlic:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
On a large piece of foil, lay 2 bulbs of garlic. Drizzle olive oil on top of each bulb. Wrap the garlic in foil and bake in a preheated oven until the cloves are soft (about 25 to 30 minutes).
Remove the garlic from the oven; open the foil and let the bulbs cool enough to handle. Remove the garlic from the cloves (just from 1-1/2 bulbs of garlic; there will be extra). Chop the garlic and set aside.
For the Slow Cooker:
To the slow cooker, add the beans, water, roasted garlic, onion, jalapeno, oregano, bay leaf, cumin, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Stir together. Cover with a lid, and cook on the high setting for 6 hours.
After the beans have cooked for 6 hours, ladle the liquid from the pot into a large pouring measuring cup or pitcher. Remove as much liquid as possible until just the beans are showing. Depending on how hot the slow cooker is, there may be 2 to 3 cups of excess liquid. Remove the bay leaf and discard.
Using a potato masher, mash the beans. Add the bacon, and salt and pepper to taste.
If needed, add some of the reserved liquid for a thinner consistency and stir. Top with drizzles of olive oil. If serving the beans right out of the pot, drizzles of olive oil and some additional bacon make a pretty garnish. Or just stir the olive oil right into the beans.