This maple-kissed version of baked beans makes an excellent accompaniment to our maple-glazed BBQ ribs. The best way to "bake" these beans is in a slow cooker, where you can put them on autopilot, just stirring occasionally--they're so worth the wait.
1 pound dried navy beans
6 cups water
1 cup maple syrup
1/4 pound (2 thick strips) salt pork, cut into cubes
1/2 cup diced yellow onion
1/3 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons apple-cider vinegar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, plus extra to taste
1/2 teaspoon paprika
First, precook the beans: Put beans in a large (3- to 4-quart) pot with 6 cups water. Set over high heat, cover, and bring to a boil; then reduce heat to low, uncover, and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit 1 hour. Drain beans, reserving cooking liquid.
Pour beans into your slow cooker; add remaining ingredients, combining well. Cover and cook on high until beans are tender, 7 to 9 hours (time varies depending on your slow cooker), stirring periodically; add reserved liquid as needed to keep beans moist.