about those beans i briefly referred to, here they are in all their glory. two notes: 1. this is ina garten's recipe - not mine - 2. if you don't have a sweet tooth then try leaving out the brown sugar and just adding in a bit more of the "bean juice".
1 lb dried red kidney beans, soaked overnight
2 qt water
1 bay leaf
6-8 whole black peppercorns
1 large yellow onion, sliced into wedges
3/4c pure maple syrup
1/2c lightly packed light brown sugar
1tbs chinese chili paste (see link here)
1 tbs grated fresh ginger root
1 tsp kosher salt
5 oz bacon, cubed
*drain and rinse beans twice, place in large pot with water, bayleaf, peppercorns and onion wedges.
*bring to boil, reduce heat and let simmer for about 45-50 minutes until the beans are cooked
*drain the bean and reserve all of the "juice"
*preheat oven to 225F
*place beans (and onions / bayleaf / pepper) in your dutch oven, disperse half of the bacon through out the beans and place the other half over the top
*meanwhile whisk together all the remaining ingredients w/ 1 1/2c of reserved "bean juice" in a small sauce pan
*bring to a boil, reduce heat to and simmer for about 5-6 minutes
*pour the hot syrup mixture over the beans and bacon, cover the dutch oven, place in oven and cook for 6-8hours
*check on them every few hours, if they look dry add more of the bean juice
*remove bayleaf and peppercorns if you can find them before you serve them.