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Baked Beans


DanM
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The Whole Foods flagship store in Austin, TX has a selection of heirloom dried beans, including one that they describe as perfect for baked beans. Sadly, I cannot remember the name of the bean variety.

Regardless, does anyone have advice, thoughts, insults, etc... about making a killer pot of baked beans??

Thanks!

Dan

"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

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navy beans are the standard but dried flageolet ( if you can source them) are good as well.

I would suggest trying a Quebec style baked bean recipe if you havn't before. Basically Maple baked beans with pork, some recipes call for as much as a cup of maple syrup.. Personally I think they taste better cooked in a bean pot but a decent dutch oven is a good alternative.

"Why is the rum always gone?"

Captain Jack Sparrow

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I made some baked beans just last week.

I used lingots (pretty much the same as Great Northern's). I did soak them in plain water overnight.

I used a salted ham hock which I first boiled to reduce the salt content.

I sauted a finely chopped onion in a bit of butter before adding my soaked beans to the pot along with the ham hock. For seasoning I used a generous amount of fresh sage.

I then simmered the whole thing for a couple of hours. The salt content seemed about right to me so I didn't add any more. I did grind in some pepper.

At this stage I decided that the beans & ham tasted so good as they were that I didn't add any tomato or molasses as I normally would.

I just let them sit until reheating before eating.

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Why shouldn't he use salt?

I usually start my beans in chicken broth, which has salt. They always turn out great.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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To qualify I assume the beans have to do time in the oven, at least some part of the cooking, yah? I've never been happy with baked beans, but to be honest I have never tried to make them myself to improve on the traditional cookout pot luck affair. I'm crazy about beans cooked in a pot, and I prefer them on the soupy side, which baked beans usually are not. Often baked beans are too sweet, taste mostly of molasses and/ or mustard, and have a leaden, goopy consistency. Okay, I've led a sheltered life.

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Why shouldn't he use salt?

Theoretically, salt added before the bean skins soften make them toughen up. Don't know if that's actually true.

Why shouldn't he use salt?

Theoretically, salt added before the bean skins soften make them toughen up. Don't know if that's actually true.

In my experience, it's not.

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Thank you for that janeer. I have ordered 3 lbs of butterscotch beans from Purcell Mountain and am looking forward to trying your version, especially roasting all that salt pork.

I'll be buying a pound of pork belly this week to make the extra salt pork I need for your recipe!

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I use both maple syrup and molasses in my baked beans, 1/4 cup of each, to be exact. I use good old navy beans, soaked in water overnight. I also include dry mustard and I use double smoked bacon to add a smoky taste. If you want the recipe, I will send it to you by PM. I am always asked to bring them to family gatherings and they always disappear.

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Thank you for that janeer. I have ordered 3 lbs of butterscotch beans from Purcell Mountain and am looking forward to trying your version, especially roasting all that salt pork.

I'll be buying a pound of pork belly this week to make the extra salt pork I need for your recipe!

You're welcome. Purcell Mountain is an excellent source.

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Baked Beans, also known as Boston bean, Pea bean, Yankee beans or Navy Beans, traditionally haricot beans slow baked with pork & molasses/maple syrup. Imposters are commonly canned and sold in their millions daily swimming in an insipid sugary tomato sauce. Haricot beans are not natives of France, where the equivalent of Boston Beans is called Cassoulet (slow baked with pork sausage, goose or duck), nor of Italy where they are eaten in salads or mashed and although both countries claim them as their own ( as loving adopted parents often do), Haricot Beans were first grown/gathered as a staple food by the Iroquois, Narragansett and Penobscot Indians of North America. They introduced them to the Pilgrims, who then introduced them back to Europe and England where they quickly usurped the place, enjoyed until then, by the Broad Bean. Baked Beans were eaten as a staple food by Native Americans who put them in their earthenware pots with venison or bear fat and maple syrup and slow baked them in pits of hot stones. When the fledgling colony of Boston became a major producer of rum, Molasses was a main ingredient and it soon became common practice to add it to beans, sometimes supplementing the maple syrup and sometimes replacing it. Then all that was needed was for salted or cured smoked pork (bacon) to replace the venison & bear fat and 'Boston Baked Beans' were invented. To make baked beans today we don’t have to restrict ourselves to the Haricot variety but can use a whole mixture including pinto, lima, black-eyed beans, northern beans and in fact any dried beans (or even peas, like chic/cici). I use both dried and pre-cooked beans because I'm not a purist but am sometimes time poor, sometimes lazy, sometimes hungry and I enjoy baked beans, any way.

For Purists:1/2 kg dried Haricot beans, 1/2 kg bacon in the piece or pork belly fried, 1/2 cup molasses, 1 teaspoon each of dry mustard powder & salt and a grind of pepper, water to cover & top-up.

For Experimentalist:2 cans baked beans, 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, 1 tablespoon dry mustard, 1/4 cup ketchup, 1/4 cup pure maple syrup, 1 Tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder! 1/4 cup water.

For Maple Syrup Lovers: 2 cans Butter or Haricot beans: 200g speck, bacon or pancetta chopped, sauteed,1 brown onion, chopped, sauteed,1 teaspoon each of mustard powder, worcestershire, tomato paste, brown sugar, salt& pepper. 1cup each chicken stock & pureed tomato. A big splash of maple syrup.

For little Kids: Baked Bean Pizza.

For big kids: Do not try Baked Bean Pizza, especially not with bacon/ham/panchetta, calamata oilves and tellegio!

Edited by TheCulinaryLibrary (log)
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Navy beans are generally considered better than Great Northern bean for Boston baked beans. Great Northerns have a thinner skin and absorb flavors better than navy beans but navy beans have a thicker skin and hold up better to the long process of making BBbeans

The primary thing that makes beans stay hard is how they are stored and age. Dried beans from this years harvest and stored an relative cool and low humid areas cook up much better than old beans stored in a hot and humid place. Salt does not really affect them all that much.

I like to make Boston baked beans out of navy beans left over from a ham hock, beans and greens dinner. I use molasses, dark brown sugar, dry mustard, catsup, onion, salt and paprika + some meaty ham. If Heritage ham is used, go easy on the added salt..

Edited by Norm Matthews (log)
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janeer, I'm doing your recipe today. If all goes well, it should be ready sometime between midnight and 1 AM :unsure:

Good to reheat tomorrow? Otherwise I'm having a late dinner.

Good for many days. Hence the famous baked bean sandwich. If you find they get too dry, add a little water. But they really improve with age, I think.

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