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After moving to NH, I longed for Durgin Park's Baked Beans with Codfish Cakes. The sweetness of the beans with the saltiness of the codfish cakes is to die for. This bean recipe is modification of the original recipe. These modifications give the best results in a home kitchen. Notes: As in any very simple recipe it's the small things that make a big difference. You will need a 3 quart covered bean pot. 1)A long soaking is imperative. 2)A bean pot is critical 3)The recipe can be halved & baked in a 2 quart bean pot but the larger quantity makes for a better baked bean, IMHO. 4)To mimic the beans baked by the colonists in beehive ovens, raise the oven temp to 425 degrees F uncover the beans & bake for about 15 min to form a slight crust at the end of the cooking time. 5)I've included the brand name of ingredients where it might be important.
- Carefully sort the beans, discarding any misshapen or discolored beans. Check carefully for small stones. Place beans in a colander & rinse thoroughly to remove all dust.
- Then place the beans in a large pot or bowl. Add enough cold water to cover by several inches. Soak the beans about 12 to 15 hours The beans should be smooth & doubled in size. Drain the beans in a colander. Rinse well with cold water. Discard any beans that haven’t re-hydrated.
- Place the beans in a stock pot. Add enough cold water to cover the beans by about ½ inch. Bring to a boil & boil vigorously for 10 minutes. Continue to boil the beans for another 5 to 10 minute until the skin moves on the beans when blown on or you can slip the skin from the bean by pinching a bean between your thumb & forefinger. BE CAREFUL not to over cook. It’s better to err on the under done side.
- Drain & rinse the beans reserving the cooking liquid.
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
- Cut the salt pork in half, if the salt pork is thick, cut horizontally. Score the rind. Cut half of the salt pork—the rindless section if halved horizontally—into 3 or 4 pieces and place them in the bottom of the bean pot.
- Add the beans to the bean pot.
- Mix together the sugar, molasses, mustard, salt & pepper. Scoop onto the top of the beans but do not stir.
- Add enough of the reserved bean-cooking liquid to barely cover the beans. If the water is not penetrating the beans, insert a table knife & gently push the beans apart allowing the water to penetrate.
- Place the remaining half of the salt pork, rind side up, on top of the bean mixture. Cover the bean pot. Bake for 6 or 7 hours Check the beans periodically for liquid—about once every 1 ½ hrs or so. Adding additional reserved liquid as necessary—the liquid should be boiling when added.
- Beans are done when they become dark & tender. The beans should not be mushy. Allow the beans to stand for 30 minute before serving.
Not too sweet and it works well in a crock pot