Austin Baked Beans

Course : Beans
Serves: 8
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1 pound navy beans or small white beans
6 ounces bacon -- cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 large onion -- peeled and chopped
1 medium green bell pepper stemmed -- seeded and, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1 medium red bell pepper stemmed -- seeded and, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
28 ounces tomatoes -- juices reserved, coarsely chopped
1/2 pound honey-baked ham -- cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1 chops smoked pork chop* -- cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1 cup ketchup
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup dark molasses
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dry mustard
2 medium granny smith apples -- peeled, cored and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 teaspoon salt -- to taste

Preparation / Directions:

*or, increase honey baked ham to 1 pound. Place beans in a large, heavy pot, add water to cover by 2 inches and soak overnight. Or, quick-soak by bringing them to a boil over medium-high heat, cover and let stand for 1 hour. Drain and rinse several times. Place soaked or quick-soaked beans back in the pot and add water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil until just tender but not mushy, about 45 minutes. While cooking, skim off any foam that rises to the top. Drain and set aside. Preheat oven to 350øF. Place bacon in a heavy oven-proof pot. Cook over low heat until fat is just rendered, about 5 to 6 minutes (do not brown). Remove bacon bits with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add onion to the pot and cook until wilted, 10 minutes. Add peppers and cook, stirring, 5 minutes more. Add beans, reserved bacon and the chopped tomatoes. Then add the remaining ingredients except the reserved tomato juice, apples and salt. Fold together and cover; bake for 2 hours. Add the apples and 1/2 cup of the reserved tomato juice and bake, uncovered, until thick and fragrant, about 2 hours. Season with salt and serve hot and bubbly.

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