I checked so many recipes and all of them seem to have their own little twist on what makes the perfect final product. I found a recipe from Alton Brown that had really amazing reviews and decided that if this one doesn't work out I'll go down in the books as the blogger who couldn't prepare beans. AND, in the spirit of sportsmanship, I decided that I'm dedicating this one to my SIL "R", a dyed in the cloth Ottawa Senator fan and always has something "not so pretty" to say about our own Toronto Maple Leafs.
1 pound dried Great Northern beans
1 pound bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 jalapenos, chopped
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Heat oven to 250 degrees F.
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 jalapenos 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.
I don't have an oven proof dutch oven so I did the original prep in a regular pot and then transferred it all to a large oven proof casserole dish 9x13 and deep.
The reviews on this one were very accurate - delicious, easy and were gone in no time.