Dice tasso into 1/2 inch cubes. Store in a zip-top bag.
Dice onion and store in a zip-top bag.
Dice celery and bell pepper and store together in a zip-top bag.
The Night Before at the Campsite
Open dried cannellini beans and sort out any stones or grit.
Put into a large bowl and cover with at least 2 inches of water.
Cover with a lid, plastic wrap, or tin foil over night.
Ready to Cook
Drain water from cannellini beans and rinse. Add 6 cups of water back in (note that its best to use bottled or filtered water. Campground tap-water can taste funky).
Set your dutch oven up for frying. 14 hot briquettes underneath, with none on top.
Let your dutch oven heat up until a drop of water sizzles and pops when dropped on it. Add your cooking oil and onions. Cook for 5 minutes, until translucent.
Add chopped celery and bell pepper. Cook an additional 5 minutes until all ingredients are soft.
Add minced garlic, bay leaves, thyme and black pepper. Cook an additional one minute.
Add beans and water. Cover and bring to a low simmer and maintain for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Stir whenever you have to add charcoal. Remember, your coals will need to be replaced every twenty minutes or so. To maintain at a simmer, you'll need 6-8 briquettes underneath, depending on weather conditions.