1 pound dry navy beans
½ pound rinsed salt pork, rind left on and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 cups onion, sliced thick
½ cup molasses
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
3 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dry mustard
½ cup packed brown sugar
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
6 cups of water, divided
½ cup ketchup
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
Soak beans overnight at room temperature in 2 quarts of water.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Drain and rinse beans.
In a large Dutch oven over medium high heat, cook rinsed diced salt pork, turning occasionally, for about 15 minutes or until golden brown on all sides.
Add onions and cook two minutes.
Add the drained beans, molasses, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, brown sugar, black pepper and garlic powder.
Stir and add two cups of water.
Place in the oven covered and cook for 90 minutes. Stir and add the ketchup, vinegar, salt and two more cups of water.
Bake for 90 more minutes covered, stir and add one cup of water.
Reduce oven to 275 degrees and bake for one hour covered.
Stir, and if beans are not soft enough to the bite, add the last cup of water and continue cooking covered until they are tender – just make sure they don’t burn if the sauce is very thick.
Serve with brown bread.
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Salt added too early in the cooking process may stop the beans from becoming tender (especially if you have hard water at your home) so wait to add the salt until the recipe indicates.
As well, one of our very smart readers also noted that the acid in ketchup and vinegar will sometimes do the same, so those two ingredients get added with the salt.
Another reasons your beans may stay hard after cooking is that they are stale – so always check the expiration date on your dry beans package.
Finally if you do have hard water, use bottled filtered water for this recipe. (Thanks to Karla Mae for the tips!)