These Boston Baked Beans are served alongside Roast Ham at my family’s Christmas Eve party. This recipe has salt pork and sweet molasses, making it the perfect dish for someone who loves the sweet and salt flavor combination. These Boston Baked Beans are one of several side dishes at the annual party. We also serve creamy spinach, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and macaroni and cheese. Since we need every inch of oven space we can get, we prepare these beans ahead of time, and then reheat them in a crockpot for the party.
This dish is very traditional New England dish that was prepared by the Pilgrims. The early settlers brought dried beans with them from England, and they ate them during the long New England weather. Given the history of this meal, maybe we should be serving it on Thanksgiving instead of Christmas Eve.
You will need:
2 cups Dried Navy Beans
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 medium Yellow Onion, sliced
1 pound Salt Pork, diced
6 tablespoons Dark Molasses
2 tablespoons Cider Vinegar
2 teaspoons Dry Mustard
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
2 teaspoons Salt
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
1 1/2 cups of Hot Water
Soak the beans in water overnight. Use ample water since the beans will soak up the water. The next day, drain the beans. Then place the beans in a pot of water. Add the baking soda, and bring to boil. Let the beans simmer for 20 minutes, then drain.
Place 1/3 of the beans in a 1 quart baking pot with a lid. Then add 1/3 of the sliced onion and 1/3 of the salt pork. Repeat this two more time, adding beans, then onion, and then pork on top.
Combine the molasses, cider vinegar, dry mustard, brown sugar, salt, black pepper, and the hot water. Mix together and pour over the beans. It is important that this liquid completely cover the beans. Add more water if necessary.
Place the lid on the pot, and bake the beans at 300 degrees for 4 hours. Stir the beans only once or twice during the cooking process. Add additional water to the beans as they cook to keep them moist.
*Adapted from Jeff Smith’s The Frugal Gourmet Cooks American.