Makes 8 servings.
• 1 pound small dried beans, such as great northern or navy
• 4 thick-cut slices bacon (about 6 ounces), chopped
• 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
• 1 cup barbecue sauce
• 1/2 cup ketchup
• 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
• 1 tablespoon dark molasses (not blackstrap)
• 1 tablespoon brown mustard
• 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
• 1 tablespoon hot sauce
Put the beans in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover by about 2 inches; let soak overnight. The next day, drain and rinse the beans.
Add the beans and 8 cups water to a large pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-high and gently boil the beans until just tender, which can take anywhere from 30 to 75 minutes depending on the age and type of bean.
While the beans cook, in a skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon, stirring, until it is crisp and the fat has rendered, about 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat in the pan. Add the onion and a sprinkle of salt and cook, stirring, until the onion softens and starts to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the jalapeno and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add the stock, barbecue sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, molasses, mustard, vinegar, hot sauce, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper to the skillet and stir to combine. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in the reserved bacon, then set aside until the beans are ready.
When the beans are ready, drain them in a colander and place in a 6 to 8 quart slow cooker. Pour the sauce over the beans. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours. Let sit for about 15 minutes before serving. The beans will thicken as they cool.