(From Chef Michael Smith on Food Network Canada)
2 pounds (4 cups) of dried beans
20 cups / 5 litres of cold water
4 medium diced onions
½ cup / 8 ounces of finely sliced double smoked bacon
2 cloves of minced garlic
2 cups/ 500 ml of maple syrup
½ cup / 125 ml of molasses
1 cup / 125 ml of tomato sauce (or chopped tomato, or tomato juice)
1 tablespoons of dried ginger (or substitute 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger)
1 tablespoon / 15 ml of dried mustard
2 teaspoon /10 ml of salt
1 teaspoon / 5 ml of black pepper
1 tablespoons / 20 ml of white wine vinegar
Preheat oven to 300 f.
Pick over and rinse beans removing any lingering stones, then cover in water and soak overnight. Drain beans and combine them in large saucepan with 5 litres of cold water. Simmer until almost tender, about 45 minutes. Drain, reserving cooking liquid.
Heat bacon in an oven and stovetop proof casserole dish, over medium heat to render the bacon fat. When the bacon begins to caramelize, add the beans, onions and garlic and continue stirring until fully aromatized.
Stir in the maple syrup, ginger, dry mustard, salt, pepper, molasses and tomato juice. Add enough of the reserved cooking liquid to just cover the beans.
Cover and bake for approximately 3 hours, or until beans are tender. Check beans periodically throughout cooking, adding more of the reserved cooking liquid if beans begin to dry out.
Stir vinegar into beans when they are tender and ready to serve!