FEIJAO A PORTUGUESA (Portuguese bean stew, for six)
1 pound dried navy or Great Northern beans, picked over
1 pound sliced bacon
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 to 5 cups water
one 6 ounce can tomato paste
1 pound Portuguese chouri*o or Spanish chorizo (cured spicy pork sausage), cut into ¼ inch thick slices
½ teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 tablespoon paprika
1. Soak beans in cold water to cover by 2 inches 8 hours.
2. Cook bacon in a 4 to 6 quart heavy pot until crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Spoon off (and discard) all but about 3 tablespoons fat in pot. Cook onion in reserved fat over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until golden, 7 to 9 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until it begins to turn golden.
3. Drain beans and add to onion mixture with remaining ingredients (except bacon). Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender, about 1-½ hours. (Older beans will take longer to cook and require more water during cooking.) Crumble bacon into beans and season with salt and pepper before serving.
from Gourmet Magazine, December, 2000