An old woodsman favorite, for a big ol’ pot, follow this recipe:
10 cups dried Great Northern beans
1 pound Salt Pork
2 1/2 cups molasses
1 teaspoon black pepper
4 teaspoons dry hot mustard
1/2 cup butter
1. Dig a hole 3 feet deep, and wide enough to leave 6 inches around your pot on all sides. Line the hole with stones prior to starting the fire.
2. Build fire in the hole with dry hardwood, and keep it going for 3+ hours, until the hole is 3/4 full with hot coals.
3. Once the fire is about an hour old, prep pot by boiling beans for 45 minutes until their skins begin to peel back.
4. When fire is ready, line the bottom of the bean pot with thin strips of salt pork. Peel and cut the onions in half, and place them on top of the pork. Pour the beans on top into the pot, and mix in the molasses, black pepper, and dry mustard. Slice the butter and place on top, and then add enough boiling water to cover the lot of it by an inch. Cover it all with aluminum foil, and then place on the lid of the bean pot.
5. Remove 1/3 of the coals with a shovel, lower the pot into the hole, fill in the sides and top with coals, and then cover it all with dirt. You should end up with about 2 feet of dirt on top.
6. Let the beans stew overnight, dig ‘em out the next morning, and enjoy.
NOTE: This recipe can be mimicked in a crock pot, but who’s doing that anyways.
The illustration above is from Ellsworth Jaeger’s Wildwood Wisdom.