Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Boston Baked Beans

Most cultures of the world seem to have a signature bean dish, from the French it is the Cassoulet in Mexico her Re-fried beans and here at home it is Boston Baked Beans. Go into any supermarket and you will find can upon can of baked  beans and their cousin pork and beans lining the shelves. Some are not bad and others..  well... not so much, all requiring help to get to passable.
If you have ever had the opportunity to have the real McCoy these  pressure cooked supermarket varieties will leave you wanting something more. The flavor that comes from slow cooking for hours allowing the beans to soak up the fat from the pork mixed with the sweetness of really good black strap molasses and onion is beyond approach. Those folks in Boston really do "Know Beans"
This is a recipe that was my moms, as the legend goes it was an heirloom that moved west with the family handed down from mother to daughter. Not having any sisters or any children I leave it to you. Enjoy!

Prep time : 12 hrs *                            Cook time: 6 hrs

Tools:  2 quart Bean pot or Covered Casserole


1 lb navy beans
1 med onion sliced
1/2 Lb salt pork or thick cut bacon cut in 1/2 " pieces
1/2 cup black strap molasses
2 tbl sugar
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp mustard powder
1/2 tsp baking soda


Pick through the beans and remove any that look questionable and any debris ( pebbles), Put the beans in a large bowl and cover by 2 in with water and soak for 12 hours.
*(Quick soak method) Put the beans in a large pot and cover with 2 in. of water bring the pot to boil simmer 5 min remove from heat cover and let sand 1 hr. Drain and continue with the recipe.

Place the beans in a stock pot and cover with 6 cups of water add 1/2 tsp baking soda and bring to the boil reduce heat and simmer 10 min. Place a colander over a large bowl and drain the beans retaining the liquor.

Assemble the rest of the ingredients. Stat layering the ingredients in the Casserole or  Bean Pot by placing some onion and salt pork in the bottom topped about 1/3 of the beans. Repeating the layers until every thing is in the pot.
 Mix together 2 cups of the reserved liquor from the beans the *molasses and spices and pour over the beans.
* tip: when working with molasses and honey spray the inside of the measuring cup with a little cooking spray and you will get every drop out of the cup.
Place the top on the dish and bake in a 325 ยบ F preheated oven  for 6 hours. Check the beans at about the 2 hr mark for the amount of liquid in the pot. if it gets a little low  add some of the reserved  bean liquor. Uncover the last 30 min.

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