Monday, February 28, 2011

New England Baked Beans

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White beansImage via WikipediaI finally bought a Bean Pot.  Always wanted one, and when I found one on sale I could not resist.  Scoured many baked bean recipes and this is the one I selected.  Learned alot on my first bean outing.  Overnight soak on dry beans work better than the "quick soak" method.  Sort em, cook em for a couple hours, let them stand overnight, and cook em again.  MAKE SURE THEY ARE TENDER BEFORE YOU PUT EM IN THE BEAN POT.  They will not soften that much more while baking.  All you will accomplish by baking longer is the risk of scorching your sauce.  So, again, be sure the beans are soft enough before you begin.

Boston Baked Beans

1 pound dried Great Northern Beans
1/2 pound thick sliced bacon strips, chopped
2 large onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups ketchup
1-1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup molasses
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Sort beans and rinse with cold water.  Place beans in a Dutch Oven.  add enough water to cover by 2 inches.  Bring to a boil for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat; cover and let stand for one hour or until beans are softened.  Or let set overnight. Drain and rinse beans, discarding liquid.  Return beans to Dutch oven; add 6 cups of water.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour or until beans are tender.
In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp.  Remove to paper towels with a slotted spoon; drain, reserving 2 tablespoons of the drippings.  Saute onions in drippings until tender.  Add garlic and cook 1 minute longer.  Stir in remaining ingredients.
Drain beans, reserving the cooking liquid; place in a un-greased 3 quart cooking pot or bean pot.  Stir in the onion mixture and bacon.  Cover and bake at 300 degrees for 2-1/2 hours or until beans are tender and have reached the desired consistency, stirring about every 30 minutes.  Add reserved cooking liquid as needed.

The Old Guy (slightly more flatulent after eating the above)
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