Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Finally . . . good Boston Baked Beans!!

My wonderful husband is from New England which means that one of his staple foods growing up was baked beans.  His favorite is B&M Baked Beans, which I do enjoy as well, but I've been looking for a good homemade baked bean recipe.  Now I've got the one for baked beans with hamburger, bacon, chickpeas, and all that other good stuff, but that's really just fancied up baked beans, not plain Boston baked beans.  I've tried several recipes but the beans are always bland and not really the right color.  You start with navy beans; which are white, don't ask me why they're "navy" beans; add a bunch of stuff and cook.  In the past, my beans have ended up still white or maybe a little tan.  Baked beans are supposed to be a nice, deep brown color.  Finally we have achieved bean nirvana!  The beans I made this weekend had a nice brown color and good flavor; the bacon and onions just melted into the beans.  Yum!  Best part is that my New England hubby really liked them.

Boston Baked Beans
adapted from Allrecipies.com

2 1/2 c. navy beans (1 package)
1/2 pound bacon, diced
1 onion, finely diced
1/3 c molasses
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp dry mustard (I usually add more)
2/3 c ketchup
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/3 c brown sugar

Soak the beans overnight in cold water to cover.  Simmer the beans in the same water until tender, approx. 1 to 2 hours.  Drain and reserve the liquid.

Preheat oven to 325*.  Put the beans in a 2 quart bean pot or casserole dish with the onion and bacon; stir to mix.  In a saucepan, combine molasses, salt, pepper, dry mustard, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar.  Bring the mixture to a boil and pour over the beans.  Pour in just enough of the reserved bean water to cover the beans.  Cover the dish with a lid or aluminum foil.

Bake for 3 to 4 hours in the preheated oven, until beans are tender.  Stir a couple of times during baking and add more liquid as necessary so the beans don't dry out.  Take the lid off for the last 30 min.

These could also be done in a crockpot.  Not having done it I'm just guessing but you'd probably want to cook them all day on low or 3-4 hours on high.  I've got a nice traditional bean pot so that's how I make them.

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