Tuesday, January 10, 2012

1930's Boston Baked Beans Recipe

I've been itching to try an authentic baked bean recipe and I finally found one courtesy of my old book of recipes.  This recipe comes from my grandmother and it was passed to her when she was working as a domestic in New York in the early 1930's.  I made the beans in a crock pot and they came out OK, but I think next time I will bake them the proper way to really get that caramelized flavor you don't get with canned beans.

Boston Baked Beans

1lb Navy Beans, picked over and rinsed
8oz Bacon, Fatback or Hog Jowl
1 Medium Onion, Finely diced
1/3C Molasses
2 tsp Kosher Salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground Pepper
1 tsp Coleman's Mustard Powder
1/2C Ketchup
1T Lea & Perrin's Worcestershire Sauce
1/4C Brown Sugar

There are 2 methods for reconstituting the beans, 1) Soak overnight (12 hours at least) in plenty of cold water (preferred), or 2) place beans in cold water and bring to boil.  Boil 5 mins, covered, and turn off heat.  Let sit 1 hour.  Pre-heat your oven to 325°.  Drain the beans, reserving the water and mix with the onion in a 2qt casserole or bean pot.  Combine remaining ingredients in saucepan and bring to a boil.  Combine sauce with beans. Place bacon on top of beans, cover and place in oven 2 hours.  Remove cover and bake 1 1/2 to 2 hours longer until beans are soft and browned on top.  Add reserved soak water as necessary during baking.  Alternately you can do as I did and cook in a crock pot.  Leave on High for the first hour then reduce to low and let simmer all day (at least 6 hours).

I used Carolina Pride bacon when I made my batch of beans.  If you can get Carolina Pride bacon in your area I HIGHLY recommend it as being the most flavorful bacon and an excellent value.  Since I made this recipe I made Black Eyed Peas for New Year's and learned a thing or 2 about cooking beans.  Beans need salt, don't skimp on the salt or your beans will be tasteless.  I also won't waste bacon on beans anymore since I much prefer using Hog Jowl or Fatback now.

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