Great northern beans got a bit of a shout-out in our bean roundup last month, and they are the star of the following cowboy beans recipe. The old family recipe packs a flavorful punch, and hits the spot for people in states where spring finally sprung only to let winter bully its way back in days later.
1 pound navy or great northern beans, soaked fast or overnight
1 onion, diced
1/2 pound bacon or salt pork, diced
1 can diced tomatoes, with liquid
1 tablespoon dried mustard or 2 teaspoons prepared mustard
1/4 cup molasses (light or dark ) or 1/4 cup brown sugar (dark or light)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Boil the beans until tender, about 20 minutes. Do not salt.
Drain, reserving 1 cup of liquid.
Place 1/2 beans in casserole dish (3 quarts should do it).
Add half the onion, half the bacon or salt pork, all of tomatoes, half the mustard and half the molasses.
Repeat layers, adding hot and Worcestershire sauce.
Add reserved bean water to cover beans (you can also add additional water or stock to cover).
Cover with foil.
Bake at 250 for 4 hours. You can also cook in a slowcooker for 10-12 hours on low or 4-5 hours on high.
Anne Markham Wurl is a home cook with three grown kids and a couple of grandkids. The recipe is her Nana's. She grew up in Arkansas and was an Olympic javelin thrower in the 1932 summer games.