Barbecue Baked Beans

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Traditionally, these beans were cooked in a low-heat oven almost all day. This on-the-stove version cuts the time in half—without compromising flavor. Customary additions such as molasses and salt pork give the beans a sweet and smoky flavor. 

1  pound dried navy beans or great Northern beans    
4  ounces salt pork or thick-cut bacon    
1  large onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 1 1/4 cups)    
1  garlic clove, minced    
3  cups tomato juice    
1/4  cup tomato paste    
3   tablespoons unsulfured molasses    
3/4   cup packed dark-brown sugar    
1/4   cup cider vinegar    
2   tablespoons Worcestershire sauce    
2  tablespoons prepared yellow or Dijon mustard    
3/4   teaspoon ground turmeric    
10  dashes hot sauce, such as Tabasco 
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper 

1. Put beans in a large bowl; cover with cold water by 2 inches. Loosely cover beans with plastic wrap, and let soak at room temperature 7 to 10 hours.
2. Drain beans; transfer to a large saucepan. Cover with cold water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, covered, until beans are very tender, about 1 hour. Drain beans, reserving cooking liquid; set beans and liquid aside.
3. If using salt pork, trim meat from the rind, and cut meat into 1/4-inch dice. Score rind with a knife. If using bacon, 
cut into 1/4-inch dice. Transfer salt pork (meat and rind) or bacon to a large Dutch oven or stockpot. 

4. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered and meat is browned and cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer meat to a large bowl using a slotted spoon, leaving rind and rendered fat in the Dutch oven. Add onion and garlic to the Dutch oven. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, 4 to 5 minutes.
5. Stir in tomato juice, tomato paste, molasses, sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, turmeric, hot sauce, 1 teaspoon salt, the beans, and 4 cups reserved cooking liquid. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover, and cook at a bare simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 1 hour. Uncover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 2 hours and 45 minutes.
6. Season with salt and pepper. If not serving immediately, let cool completely, and refrigerate in an airtight container, up to 2 days. Reheat beans over medium-low heat before serving.  Makes about 7 cups; serves about 7 


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