500g dried white beans such as navy or Great Northern (aka cannellini, white kidney, fazolia)
½ cup ketchup
2 tablespoons dark molasses
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Salt and freshly ground pepper
125g smoked bacon, chopped
Pick over the beans, removing any misshapen beans or grit. Rinse under cold running water. Put the beans in a large bowl, add enough cold water to cover by at least 5 cm, and let stand at room temperature overnight. Alternatively, for a quick soak, put the beans in a large pot, add enough water to cover by at least 5cm, bring to a boil, remove from the heat, cover and let soak for 1 hour. Drain and rinse the beans.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the ketchup, molasses, mustard, cider vinegar, maple syrup, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Bring to a simmer, stirring to blend. Remove from the heat.
Pour the molasses mixture into a slow cooker. Add the beans and bacon and stir to combine. Cover and set the temperature to high. When the liquid begins to boil, reduce the temperature to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender yet firm; about three hours. Uncover, raise the heat to high, and cook, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the beans are just tender, about 30 minutes longer. Season to taste with sale and pepper.
Serve at once.