Prep 1 hr
Cook 4 hrs
This recipe has become so famous at all of my family's gatherings that mom had to get more bean pots! She's made these beans for as long as I can remember. There are never any leftovers, no matter how many batches she makes. Note: Cooking time does not include time needed to soak beans.
- 1 lb dried navy beans
- 1⁄4 lb bacon (uncooked, cut into small pieces)
- 1⁄2 cup onion, chopped
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1⁄2 cup ketchup
- 1⁄4 cup molasses
- 1⁄4 cup maple syrup (use the real stuff here)
- 2 teaspoons dried mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups water
- Soak beans in a pan of water overnight then drain before cooking.
- Boil the soaked beans until the skins crack when you blow on them. (With a spoon, lift some out of the boiling water and blow on them. If the skins crackle, they are done.) This step is important because the beans don't soften up any more while baking, and you don't want them to be too hard.
- Drain the beans and place them in your bean pot (any ceramic piece will do as long as it has a lid).
- Add uncooked bacon and chopped onion.
- In a sauce pan, bring the rest of the ingredients to a boil.
- Once everything is melted and combined, pour the mixture over the beans in the pot.
- Make sure the liquid covers the beans. If not, then add more water.
- Bake in covered pot at 250 degrees for about 4 hours. Check periodically to make sure the liquid level does not get too low. They will thicken as they bake, but you should have a little juice so they are not too dry.
- The beans will be dark brown, and thick when they are done.
This recipe is confusing and misleading. After soaking the beans overnight you are supposed to boil them just until the skin cracks on the beans when you blow on them. They reach this stage like 2 minutes of boiling, yet the beans are still hard as a rock. Since the author gave the disclaimer that the beans will not soften anymore while baking, I figured I better let them simmer in the water until they were the right consistency, which ended up taking about an hour. I followed the rest of the recipe exactly as written, yet here it is 5 hours later and the beans are still swimming in a soupy liquid. I even raised the temperature to 300 degrees about an hour ago and no change. I was very much looking forward to some proper baked beans but I guess that won't be happening this time. Perhaps the recipe could be changed to describe how long one should boil the beans, or what consistency they are supposed to be at certain stages. These were a disaster. House smells lovely though.
Wow! These beans are awesome! I make them for every cookout and everyone loves them. The only thing I did different was reduce the molasses a little bit and replace with a little more maple syrup. I also cook for more than 4 hours because it seems like they don't thicken up fast enough. Last time I made them I left them in the oven for most of the day(I just checked often to make sure there was enough liquid) and they were amazing! Thank you so much for posting this recipe :)
Those moms...they have the best recipes, and this one is no exception. Just the right amount of sweetness to these great tasting beans. I have other baked bean recipes, but they call for canned ingredients--this one proves that starting from scratch sometimes is easiest, cheapest and tastiest. I was going to try this in a crockpot, but decided to stick to the original recipe first. Turned out great--you've started a new bean tradition at our house as well--thanks L-Burden and a special thank you to your mom.