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Once And Future Beans, The

1 pound dried Great Northern beans
1 pound bacon -- chopped
1 onion -- chopped
2 jalapeņos -- chopped
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
Vegetable broth -- as needed
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
2 teaspoons kosher salt


Heat oven to 250 degrees.


Soak beans in a plastic container overnight in just enough cold water to submerge them completely.


Place a cast-iron Dutch oven over medium heat and stir in the bacon, onion, and jalapeņos until enough fat has rendered from the bacon to soften the onions, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, dark brown sugar, and molasses.


Drain the beans and reserve the soaking liquid. Add the drained beans to the Dutch oven. Place the soaking liquid in a measuring cup and add enough vegetable broth to equal 4 cups of liquid. Add the liquid to the Dutch oven and bring to a boil over high heat. Add in cayenne, black pepper and salt. Give them a stir and cover with the lid. Place the Dutch oven in the oven for 6 to 8 hours, or until the beans are tender.


This recipe yields 6 servings.



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