Saturday, October 18, 2008

Baked Beans

I am from Maine and this is traditional New England fare. It is what you should be eating on a Saturday night. End of discussion.

1 pound dry navy beans (2 cups)
1 ½ quarts of water
1 tsp. salt
½ cup brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dry mustard
¼-1/2 cup molasses
¼ lb. salt pork
1 medium onion, sliced

Pick through beans, rinse in cold water. Add to 1 ½ qts. water, bring to a boil, simmer 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, let stand 1 hour (or skip all this and just soak overnight).

Drain well. Add 1 tsp. salt to beans, add another quart and a half of water, cover pan, simmer until tender, about one hour. Drain, reserving liquid. Measure 1 ¾ bean liquid, adding water if necessary.

Combine with sugar, salt, mustard, and molasses.

Cut the salt pork in half; score one half and set aside. Grind or thin-slice the remainder.

In a 2-quart bean pot, alternate layers of beans, onion, ground salt pork, and sugar mixture. Repeat. Top with scored salt pork.

Cover, bake at 300 for 5 to 7 hours. Add more liquid if needed. Makes 8 servings.

Serve with Steamed Brown Bread.

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