|Boiling water||1 Cup (16 tbs) (As Required)|
|Dried great northern beans||1 Pound (2 Cups, White Variety)|
|Onion||1 , studded with 3 whole cloves|
|Whole cloves||3 , studded with onion|
|Onion||1 , finely chopped|
|Canned tomatoes||16 Ounce , undrained (1 Can)|
|Garlic||1 Clove (5 gm) , crushed|
|Condensed chicken broth||10 3/4 Ounce , undiluted (1 Can)|
|Heavy cream||1/2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|Ground pepper||1/4 Teaspoon|
|Fresh white bread crumbs||1 Cup (16 tbs)|
|Butter/Margarine||2 Tablespoon , melted|
1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
2. In large saucepan, pour enough boiling water over beans just to cover and bring to boiling.
3. Boil for 2 minutes and set aside, covered for about 2 hours.
4. Drain beans and turn into a heavy, 5-quart Dutch oven along with onion studded with cloves, bouquet garni and 1 teaspoon salt.
5. Add enough water just to cover the beans (about 1 quart) and bring to boiling.
6. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until tender-€”1 1/2 to 2 hours.
7. Drain discarding onion and bouquet garni.
8. In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons butter and saute chopped onion until golden-€”several minutes.
9. Add tomatoes and garlic and cook, stirring, several minutes more.
10. Stir in chicken broth and cream, blending well and simmer a few minutes.
11. Stir in drained beans, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper, mixing just until combined and turn into a 12-by-8-by-2-inch baking dish or 3-quart au-gratin dish.
12. Toss bread crumbs with melted butter and sprinkle over top of beans.
13. Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes until hot and crumbs are browned.
14. Serve the Au Gratin with garnish as desired.