Thursday, February 2, 2012

Boston Baked Beans

It is funny how certain foods make you think of someone close to you. When we would go to family gatherings, my Nana would bring her baked bean pot full of Boston baked beans. It was a tradition. Any time I have baked beans, I think of her even though she is no longer around. I will admit this recipe is close to my Nana's recipe but not quite what I remember. The recipe is very good.
I hardly ever use dry beans. I normally will buy a can before the dry just because it is more convenient. Growing up, my Dad always cooked using dry beans. I never watched him prep the beans. I just knew he started the beans the night before. The first time I went to prep dry beans; I had to call my Dad since I had no clue. I didn't realize they had to soak overnight then cook them then recook them. What? Now, I just follow the directions on the back of the package. I liked it better when my Dad did all the work. Don't you sometimes miss the convenience of being a kid?
Boston Baked Beans
2 cups navy beans
1/2 lbs bacon
1 onion, finely diced
3 Tbsp molasses
1 Tbsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1/2 cup ketchup
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar

Clean and sort through the beans. 
Soak the beans overnight in cold water.
Simmer the beans in the same water until tender for about 1 hour or longer if needed.
Drain but reserve the liquid.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Arrange some of the beans in a dish/bean pot. Layer bacon and onions on top of the beans. Continue to layer first with the beans followed with the bacon and onions.
In a saucepan, combine the molasses, salt, pepper, dry mustard, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and the brown sugar.
Bring the mixture to a boil and pour over the beans.
Add the reserved liquid over the beans to cover the beans. 
Cover the dish and cook for 3 to 4 hours. Remove the lid after a couple of hours and add more liquid if needed.

Recipe adapted from All recipes

Did you already know.........
-Boston baked beans tend to be sweetened with molasses or maple syrup.
-Before the Pilgrims arrival, Native Americans sweetened their beans with maple syrup.
-The Pilgrims and Puritans did not cook on Sunday to observe Sabbath. They would cook their beans on Saturday and leave them in the oven overnight so they were able to enjoy them hot the next day.

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