- 1 pound dried navy beans, picked over and soaked overnight in water to cover
- 1 1/4 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 bay leaves
- 8 cups water
- Chicken broth, as needed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 pound salt pork, trimmed and cut into cubes
- 4 ounces chopped bacon
- 1 1/2 cups ketchup
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1 tablespoon powdered mustard
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Drain the beans and put them in a pot with 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, the salt, and bay leaves. Add 8 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the beans are just tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from the heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Drain the beans and reserve 1 1/2 cups of the cooking liquid. If there isn't enough cooking liquid remaining, add chicken broth so that you have 1 1/2 cups total reserved.
Heat the oil in a large ovenproof pot or Dutch oven over high heat. Add the salt pork and bacon and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes. Add the ketchup, reserved cooking liquid, onions, celery, mustard, garlic, black pepper, and remaining 1 teaspoon cayenne. Cook, stirring, for 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the beans and stir gently to mix. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Transfer the beans to the oven and bake for 1 hour. Stir the beans and add the brown sugar and addtional chicken broth if needed, 1/2 cup at a time. Continue to cook 1 hour longer until the beans are very tender. Remove from the oven and serve hot. Remove the bay leaves before serving.