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1 lb (500 g. dried great northern, navy, or pea beans
6 cups (1 1/2 L) water
2 crumbled bay leaves
2 teaspoons (10 mL) salt
6 tablespoons (90 mL) dark molasses
1/2 teaspoon (3 mL) dry powdered mustard
1 small onion, peeled

Optional: 1 lb. (450 g) moderately-fat beef
or 1/2 lb (225 g) salt pork
or 1 tablespoon (15 mL) vegetable oil

Soak beans at least overnight in the 6 cups of water (longer is
even better). Drain, cover with fresh water, add the bay leaves,
and simmer covered until *very* tender, about two hours. Drain,
place half in a bean pot or other casserole with a tight-fitting
top. Add all other ingredients. Place remaining beans in pot,
cover with boiling water, and bake tightly covered (use a sheet of
heavy aluminum foil tightly crimped around the top if your casserole
doesn't have a cover) in a 325 degree F (160 degree C) oven for
about 7 hours. Remove top, pull piece of meat (if using) to top
of mixture so it can brown, and bake another hour uncovered. (Note:
it's a good idea to check water level after about 5 hours, and add
more boiling water if necessary to keep the water level above beans
until it's time to uncover.)

Serve (on Saturday night, of course) with ketchup or chili sauce,
and steamed brown bread. If you want to be quite traditional,
reheat leftovers and serve with codfish cakes or balls for Sunday
breakfast. Freezes well, so if your bean pot is large enough, do
two pounds at a time and stock up.


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