Serves 10 Portions Boston Baked Beans
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes
- 1 pound dry navy beans
- 6 cups water
- pinch of baking soda
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 strips bacon, cut in 1/2-inch pieces (traditionally salt pork is used, and if desired 4 ounces can be substituted for the bacon)
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1/3 cup molasses
- 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Transfer the drained beans into a Dutch oven, or bean pot if you have one, and add the rest of the ingredients. Stir until combined. Add enough of the reserved water to just barely cover the beans.
Cover the pot tightly and place in the oven for 1 hour. Uncover and check the liquid level - do not stir the beans. Add some more reserved liquid if the beans are getting too dry. Cover and cook 1 more hour. Uncover and test the beans; they should be getting tender, but if they're still firm, cover and cook a bit longer, adding a splash of water if they're getting too dry.
When tender, turn the heat up to 350 degrees F., and continue to cook uncovered for another 30 minutes or so. This last 30 minutes is to give the beans a nice crust on top, as well as reduce the liquid to a thick, syrupy consistency. Remove when ready and serve hot or room temperature.
Note: the cooking times will vary, but process will not. After boiling, bake the beans covered until tender, and finish uncovered until the beans are crusty and liquid has thickened.