- 4 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 large white onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced peeled ginger
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 12-ounce bottles root beer (about 3 cups)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons molasses
- 1 tablespoon grainy mustard
- Hefty pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
- 4 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Set a medium oven-safe pot over medium heat and add the bacon. Cook, stirring, until most of the fat is rendered and the bacon is crisp, about 8 minutes; remove to paper towels with a slotted spoon to drain.
Add the onion, garlic and ginger to the drippings in the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook until the color deepens, about 1 more minute.
Add the root beer, vinegar, molasses, mustard, red pepper flakes and garam masala to the pot. Stir, then bring to a boil. Add the beans and three-quarters of the bacon and gently stir so the beans don't lose their shape. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Transfer to the oven and bake, uncovered, until thick, about 30 minutes. Let cool slightly, then top with the remaining bacon.
Photograph by Paul Sirisalee