Last winter, I was working three jobs totaling 70 hours per week which left me tired and worn out. I had no desire to cook anything and I missed out on one of my favorite things to cook-Boston baked beans. These are the beans one has to start the night before, putting the beans out to soak, then get up at 5:00 a.m. and start preparing them so you can enjoy dinner at 6 or 7 p.m. These beans will make your house smell wonderful and homey, heat up your kitchen on cold wintery days, and fill you for a few days. What you do not eat freezes well, so you can enjoy them in the summer without your kitchen turning into a sauna!
This recipe comes from the book “Best Recipes From the Backs of Boxes, Bottles, Cans and Jars” by Ceil Dyer and was found on Grandma’s Molasses label.
1 lb. (2 cups) dried pea, marrow, Great Northern or navy beans (I’ve also used pinto beans)
2 quarts water
1 onion, chopped
1/4 lb. salt pork
3/4 c. Grandma’s Unsulphured molasses (Mom always used Grandma’s)
1 t. kosher salt (optional)
1 t. dry mustard
Soak beans the night before. Rinse beans in cold water and drain. Place in large saucepan and add water. Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover loosely and let stand for 1 hour. Return to heat and bring to a boil, cover and simmer gently over low heat for 1 hour, until beans are tender. Drain beans and reserve liquid. Turn beans into 2 1/2 quart bean pot or casserole; add onion and mix lightly. Cut through surface of salt pork every 1/2 inch, making cuts about 1 inch deep. Bury pork in beans. Mix 2 cups reserved bean liquid with molasses, salt and dry mustard; pour over beans. Cover and bake in 300 degree Fahrenheit oven for 5 to 6 hours. Check beans about once an hour and add additional bean liquid or water if the beans become dry; at the beginning of the cooking time the beans should be covered with liquid, and at the end of cooking the beans should be moist and coated with syrupy liquid. Makes 8 servings.
I use my dark brown trusty bean pot for this recipe. This is a fabulous old-fashioned Yankee recipe. I like to add a little South to the meal and make some cornbread complete with honey butter. Fabulous!