Rancho Gordo farm founder Steve Sando is at the forefront of the seed-saving movement, selling his exquisite heirloom dried beans to passionate followers. Here, F&W's Marcia Kiesel uses Sando's yellow eyes variety.
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1 pound yellow eye or navy beans, soaked overnight and drained
1 small onion, sliced 1/2 inch thick
2 bay leaves
1/2 pound meaty bacon, fat side scored
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon ketchup
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 325°. In a large pot, cover the beans with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, skimming occasionally, until the skins peel back when you blow on them, about 1 hour. Reserve 4 cups of the cooking liquid and drain the beans.
Transfer the beans to a 10-by-13-inch baking dish. Stick the cloves in a slice of onion; nestle the onion slices, bay leaves and bacon, fat side up, among the beans.
In a bowl, whisk 2 cups of the reserved cooking liquid with the maple syrup, Worcestershire, dry mustard, 1/4 cup of the ketchup and 1 teaspoon of the salt; pour over the beans and bake for 3 hours.
Stir the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt into 1 cup of the cooking liquid; pour over the beans and bake for 1 1/2 hours longer.
Whisk the remaining cooking liquid and ketchup with the Dijon mustard and pour over the beans. Bake for 1 1/2 hours longer, until the beans are richly browned. Let stand for 15 minutes. Discard the cloves and bay leaves, and serve.
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