This recipe is an adaptation from The Versatile Grain and the Elegant Bean. It’s a cookbook that I have owned and used for at least 18 years. I bought it from a book club when I was a vegetarian and I had no idea of how to cook anything let alone stuff without meat. There are a lot of meat recipes in it, but you can sub if meat isn’t your thing. I love this book. It has never let me down.
Baked Navy Beans with Apples, Bacon and Mustard
2 cups of Navy Beans soaked and drained (You can use any white bean or Steuben yellow-eyed)
Salt to taste (I use smoked sea salt and sea salt. I think if you are veggie this is the best way to get a hearty flavor sans bacon)
1 onion, peeled and stuck with 6-8 whole cloves
1-2 finely chopped shallot(s)
½ pound of bacon rashers with fat removed, cut into ½ inch pieces (I like the uncured bacon ends from Trader Joe’s)
1 cup unfiltered apple juice
2 T of coarse grain mustard (I like Annie’s Horseradish Whole Grain Mustard)
1 T of ketchup
½ t of chipotle flakes
1 t of lemon juice (you can add more to taste)
¼ t black pepper
1 tart green apple, peeled and thinly sliced (approx. 1 cup)
In a 3-quart saucepan, cook the beans with tepid water to cover by 2 inches, until the beans are tender, about 45-60 minutes. Add salt the last 5 minutes of cooking.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the beans with liquid in a ovenproof casserole or bean pot (I use my le creuset pot so I can go from stove to oven). Tuck the onion in the center. In a fry pan cook bacon for 3-5 minutes over med/high heat, add shallot sauté until caramelized. In a small bowl mix the remaining ingredients together with bacon and shallots, stir into the beans. Cover and bake for 30 minutes (add more liquid if you see fit). Then uncover, stir gently and bake for 30 more minutes more. Remove onion and cloves and discard. Serve right from the casserole.