bean there, done that

Back in the day when I didn't eat meat (what?), I ate a lot of beans in tomato sauce (the meatless version of pork and beans). And actually, till this day I still like me a can of those old school beans with a side of heavily-buttered toast once in a while. Since I recently acquired a heavy-duty dutch oven, I decided to make my own baked beans from scratch.

1 lb great northern beans
200 g smoked slab bacon
2 tbsp candied jalapenos, finely chopped (optional)
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 C molasses
1/4 C tomato paste
1/4 C ketchup
1/4 C brown sugar
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
water to cover

1. Soak the beans overnight in water. Drain and set aside.

2. In a dutch oven, combine bacon, onions and garlic. Saute for 5 minutes or until onions are soft and bacon has released some of its fat. Add the rest of the ingredients and add enough water to cover the beans. Season to taste.

3. Place in a 275 degree oven for 6 hours or until beans are tender and sauce has thickened.

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