Baked Beans Recipe
Baked beans were not my favorite Saturday night, or any night for that matter, supper. They’re as traditional as lobster bakes on the beach, clam chowder and moose tenderloin but that didn’t mean anything to me. Over the years I’ve tweaked the recipe, as you should do to make it suit your tastes, and now I love baked beans. Protein and iron rich, filling and satisfying, healthy fat from homegrown pork, and great for leftovers. What’s not to love!
Well…what’s not to love…”homemade” using baked beans from a can. I have nothing against them, some are delicious, but clearly they’re not homemade no matter what you do to them. It’s like melting butter, adding a little salt, pouring it into a bowl, and saying you made butter.
Bean Pot or Slow Cooker
You can bake the beans in a traditional bean pot or your slow cooker. If the weather is bitterly cold I use the bean pot and keep the oven on to warm the kitchen. However, it’s easier to keep an eye on the beans using a slow cooker with a glass top so you can make sure they don’t dry out.
Warmed up baked beans for breakfast will hold you well to lunch time if you’re busy outdoors. They’re great in chili and refried beans.
Baked Beans Recipe - Traditional New England Saturday Night Supper
- 2 pounds dry beans
- 1/2 pound salt pork or slab bacon
- 1 cup molasses or real maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon dry mustard
- 2-3 cups boiling water
- 1 medium onion chopped (optional)
- 1 tablespoon pepper
- Soak the beans in cold water overnight. Cover them with at least two inches of water. They will absorb the water and swell so be sure the pan is large enough to hold them.
- Next morning, pick out any beans and skins floating, then parboil until the skins crack. It takes longer than you probably expect. Don’t be alarmed if it takes an hour. If it takes much longer than an hour the beans are probably old and won’t be good.
- Score the salt pork.
- Chop the onion and score the salt pork while the beans parboil. If you’re using bacon you can cut the slices in half. Mix the remaining ingredients in the boiling water.
- Drain the beans, mix in the onion and place in the bean pot*. Pour the water over the beans. Add the scored salt pork or bacon to the top of the beans. If you’re using them, don’t add the partridge breasts yet. If the water doesn’t cover everything you’ll need to add more. Be sure it’s boiling so you don’t crack the bean pot. Place the cover on the bean pot.
- Bake at 300* for six hours. Check on the beans after the first two hours. If needed, add more water. Check again in two hours.