- 1 lb dried navy beans
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 oz smoked bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large white onion, finely diced
- 1 carrot, finely diced
- 2 tbsp molasses
- 1 cup tomato passata (or tomato paste)
- 4 sprigs thyme
- Pinch ground cardamom
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp dry mustard
1. Soak navy beans for 24 hours in a large bowl of cold water. Drain. Set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 325°F. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a heavy saucepan or a cast-iron enamelled casserole dish. Cook the bacon until crispy, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, onion and carrot and cook for 5 more minutes, until onion is just beginning to caramelize.
3. Add the drained beans and stir in molasses, tomato passata, thyme and cardamom. Pour in enough cold water to cover the beans by 2 inches.
4. Bring to a boil, cover with a lid and bake in preheated oven for 7 to 8 hours, stirring every couple of hours and adding more water if the beans seem dry.
5. During the last hour of cooking remove the lid, add the Worcestershire sauce, cider vinegar and dry mustard and cook until the beans are saucy and richly coated with sauce. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Serves 8 to 12