Low-N-Slow Boston Baked Beans
- Ready In:
- 5hrs 30mins
- 4 ounces salt pork, trimmed of rind and cut into 1/2 pieces 2 ounces bacon, cut into 1/4 pieces (about 2 slices)
- 1 medium onion, chopped fine
- 1⁄2 cup mild molasses, plus
- 1 tablespoon mild molasses
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons brown mustard
- 1 lb small dried white bean, rinsed and picked over (but NOT SOAKED or boiled at all... just dry beans)
- 9 cups water
- 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
- ground black pepper
- Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position; heat oven to 300 degrees.
- Add salt pork and bacon to 8-quart Dutch oven; cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and most fat is rendered, about 7 minutes.
- Add onion and continue to cook stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 8 minutes.
- Add 1/2 cup molasses, mustard, beans, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, and 9 cups water; increase heat to medium-high and bring to boil; cover pot and set in oven.
- Bake until beans are tender, about 4 hours, stirring once after 2 hours.
- Remove lid and continue to bake until liquid has thickened to syrupy consistency, 1 to 1 1/2 hours longer.
- Remove beans from oven; stir in remaining tablespoon of molasses, vinegar, and additional salt and pepper to taste.
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OK - so I am a very experienced cook and I know how to follow a recipe (especially one this easy). Followed it to a tee (including the brining over night). Cooked the times provided - beans were hard as a rock. Cooked an extra hour - never softened. Maybe bad beans? Perhaps but they were a huge disappointment.
Made this for 4th of July BBQ. Couldn't get salt pork, so I used pork belly, and 3 strips of bacon. Followed the directions through adding the beans and water, but I only added half the water, brought to a boil, then put it in my slow cooker. Topped it off with water to fill it, and had it on high for about 5 hours. Baked beans are huge here in Malta, since it's fairly British, and my Brit friends all said they were amazing! Thanks so much!
This recipe is in my America's Test Kitchen cookbook, and as far as I'm concerned, it's absolutely perfect! One objection I have to so many of the baked beans recipes out there is that they are far too sweet. This one isn't. In fact, I add just a touch more molasses to it. Also, I increase the amount of bacon by 4 slices since there's no salt pork to be had around here.