To prepare the beans, put the beans in a pot, add 3 times their volume in water. Cover and cook over low heat for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the beans are tender. If needed, add more warm water.
Meanwhile, heat the lard in a large, deep, and heavy skillet, over a medium high heat. Add the onions and fry until lightly browned. Add the tomatoes, chilies, and cilantro. Add the cooked beans, salt, and beer. Continue to cook, uncovered, over low heat until the mixture thickens, about 45 minutes.
Pour the hot beans into a decorative clay or ceramic serving dish. Serve with roasted meat and corn or flour tortillas.
c.1997, M.S. Milliken & S. Feniger, all rights reserved