- 3 1/2 cups dried beans, such as cranberry, Great Northern or pinto (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 9 ounces thickly sliced bacon, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 3 large green bell peppers, cut into 1/3-inch dice
- 2 medium yellow onions, cut into 1/3-inch dice
- 4 medium celery ribs, cut into 1/3-inch dice
- 1 jalapeño chile, finely chopped (with seeds)
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
- 4 cups veal stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
- 4 cups best-quality barbecue sauce
- One 12-ounce can tomato paste
- 1/4 cup molasses
- Soak the beans overnight in a large bowl of cold water. Drain and rinse the beans.
- Put the beans in a large pot, add cold water to cover them generously and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to moderate and simmer the beans under tender, about 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, in a large enameled cast-iron casserole, cook the bacon over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp. Remove the bacon from the casserole and set aside.
- Add the green peppers, onions, celery and jalapeño to the casserole and sauté over moderately high heat for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes longer. Stir in the reserved bacon and the stock, barbecue sauce, tomato paste and molasses. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
- Preheat the oven to 400°. Drain the beans and add them to the casserole. Bake for 1 hour, stirring the beans gently every 15 minutes. Season with salt and serve.
The beans can be cooled and refrigerated for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature and reheat thoroughly in a low oven before serving.