1 pound dried Great Northern or Navy beans -- washed and sorted
Place beans into a Dutch oven or large saucepan; add enough water to cover by 2 inches and soak overnight. (If not soaking overnight, put beans into a large kettle, cover with water up to 1 inch, and bring to a boil; lower heat and simmer uncovered 30 minutes. Let stand about 2 hours.)
Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Drain the beans and transfer to a large mixing bowl---Reserve the soaking liquid. To the beans, add the remaining ingredients except the meat and bourbon, and mix well.
Ladle about 1/3 of the bean mixture into a 2-quart bean pot or Duitch oven. Cut pork into two pieces and score pork the fatty side in a criss-cross pattern, but do not cut through. Nestle one piece of the pork into the beans (if using bacon put 2-3 slices crosswise). Ladle the rest of the bean mixture into the pot and nestle the remaining piece of pork into the beans (or layer more bacon). Pour about 1-1/2 cups of reserved soaking liquid over the beans and cover the bean pot.
Bake 6-1/2 hours without disturbing. Remove from the oven and stir in the bourbon. Add about 1/4-1/3 cup more of the soaking liquid if beans seem somewhat dry. Mix gently to disperse the salt and bourbon. Cover the pot and bake 1 hour longer.
Remove cover and bake 30 minutes. Top should be crusty and the interior somewhat moist. Remove and discard pork; serve hot or at room temperature.
Copyright © 2008 Carol Stevens, Shaboom's Kitchen, All Rights Reserved