Rania’s Baked Beans

1 pound dried navy or Great Northern beans
8 ounces slab smoked bacon, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1½ cups chopped onions
2 cloves garlic chopped
1½ cups packed dark brown sugar
2 cups ketchup
6 tablespoons maple syrup
6 tablespoons dark molasses
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

Rinse and pick through the beans. Soak them overnight in a large pot of water. Rinse the soaked beans well under cold water, and place them in a heavy saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Place a 2-quart flameproof casserole or Dutch oven over medium heat and sauté the bacon until it is slightly crisp and fat is rendered, 5 minutes. Add the onions and garlic, and cook until wilted, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the brown sugar and stir over medium low heat until it has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Stir in the ketchup, syrup, molasses, Worcestershire, salt, and pepper; add the drained beans and mix well. Cover the casserole and transfer it to the oven. Bake, stirring occasionally (making sure you scrape the bottom of the casserole), for 1 and ½ hours. Add some of the reserved bean liquid if you feel that the beans need a bit more liquid. I usually add a little more liquid if I make them ahead and re-heat them. Serve hot.

Yield: 2 ½ quarts of beans


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