2 pounds dry beans or 3 pounds fresh (cranberry, navy, yellow, eye, heirlooms in general are best)
2 sprigs fresh thyme
3 cloves fresh garlic
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
1 green onion, chopped
2 teaspoons salt
Â½ cup molasses
1 cup dark amber beer
Â¼ cup maple syrup
Â½ cup spicy yellow mustard
1 cup fresh tomatoes, chopped
Â½ cup fresh chives, chopped fine
Â½ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
If using dry beans, clean and soak the beans overnight submerged in water. For fresh beans or after dry beans have soaked, place the beans in fresh water with the sprig of thyme in a large pan and cook until tender for about 30 minutes. Set aside.
In a large dutch oven pot or heavy bottom pot, with a little olive oil sautÃ© the garlic and yellow, red, and green onions until a little translucent, season with some salt. Strain the beans in a large mixing bowl, reserving the liquid, and mix together with the molasses, amber beer, maple syrup, mustard and tomatoes until well combined. Pour the bean mixture over the onions and mix together well. Pour about 2 cups of the water into the pan; the water should cover the beans by a few inches.
Preheat the oven to about 375 degrees F. Place the pot covered in the oven and bake for about 4-5 hours, making sure to place more water in the pot as it evaporates, mixing as you do this as well. The mixture will start to get thicker and darker. When the beans are very tender for the last hour uncover the beans and turn the heat up to 425 degrees F, stirring every 15 minutes. Taste the mixture at this stage making sure itâ€™s sweet and spicy enough to your taste, then add the fresh herbs and mix well. The final product should be dark, the beans super tender and the juice thick!