This may be cooked on top of the stove and in the oven, or the whole process may be done in a large crock pot.
3 cups pinto or other dry beans
1 bay leaf
1 medium onion, chopped
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons tomato paste or ¼ cup ketchup
1 cup fresh minced or ¼ cup dried ground Candy Caps
2 tablespoons vinegar (halve if using ketchup instead of tomato paste)
½ teaspoon dry mustard or 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup diced ham, hot dogs, or bacon (optional)
½ cup smoked pig's ear mushrooms (optional)
Soak the beans overnight, in water to cover. Drain.
Cover the beans with water again, an inch or two above the top of the beans. Put the bay leaf in the pot, and cook beans until they are barely done, but still a bit firm. (Stove top, about 2 to 3 hours, in a crock pot on high, 4 to 6 hours). Drain off the excess water, reserving for later if needed. If baking in the oven, preheat it now to 250° F.
Return ½ cup of bean cooking liquid to pot of beans. Add all other ingredients, and place in lidded casserole dish in the oven or leave in the crock pot on the medium setting.
Cook covered, for 2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally and adding more of the reserved liquid as needed if the beans dry out. Serve when beans are soft and flavors have melded.