Winter in the North Country is cold, and nothing warms you up body and soul like this hearty dish. It freezes well, so spend a free day making a large batch and tuck it away for a quick meal when your time is tight.
2 lbs. Great Northern beans, cleaned and picked over
Pinch of salt
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup or light molasses
1 small onion, grated fine
6 strips uncooked lean bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
Put cleaned beans in a large ovenproof kettle and cover with water. Allow to soak overnight.
Add salt and simmer beans on top of stove until almost tender. (If desired, you can drain the beans partway through this process and add fresh water. This will cut down on the “gassiness”, but will also send a lot of vitamins down the drain.)
Drain any excess water from the beans (you only want enough liquid to barely cover the beans) and add the remaining ingredients to the pan. Stir until well blended.
Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 2 to 3 hours. Check occasionally and add a bit more water if needed. Uncover beans for the last hour to brown the top.
This makes a large batch of beans, but they freeze well. Serve these beans hot or cold. They’ll always be a favorite.