Preparation / Directions:
Soak the navy beans overnight in cold water.
Drain beans add chicken stock (enough to cover beans by 2 inches), simmer with the bay leaves, parsley, celery, garlic, oregano, chili powder, cloves and salt. Simmer for approx 1 1/2 hours or until the skin breaks on a bean when you blow on it. Drain and reserve liquid
Place the beans in a bean pot or earthenware casserole, add the cubed bacon.
Take a few cups of the reserved bead liquid and bring to a simmer. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, chopped onions, diced onions. Heat. When the mixture is hot add the molasses and reheat. Pour over the beans in the bean pot.
Put the lid on and bake for 6 hours at 250 degrees. Check after 3 hours to see if there is enough liquid, if add some of the remaining bean liquid.
After 5 hours again check liquid and cover the top of the beans with the sliced bacon. Cover and continue cooking for 45 minutes.
Remove the lid and place under the broiler. Broil for l5 minutes to crisp the bacon.
* Note: I will sometimes add a couple of smoked ham hocks to the recipe during the first step. When done I will remove the meat and add the meat back to the beans.