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    Yankee Baked Beans

    Source of Recipe

    From "Sweet Home Café Cookbook" by Albert Lukas

    Recipe Introduction

    "Yankee baked beans, sometimes called Boston baked beans, were common New England fare by the mid-seventeenth century. Traditionally cooked low and slow in a stoneware pot on a wood-fired stove—a technique mimicked with today's slow cookers—they were a go-to dish served everywhere from lumber camps to fancy restaurants, often on Saturday night. Molasses, the residue left over from sugar refining, is the common sweetener except in Vermont, where maple syrup is typically used. This version uses two sweeteners, molasses and maple sugar."

    List of Ingredients

    ◦ 1 pound dried great northern beans
    ◦ 1 small yellow onion, peeled but left whole, plus 1 cup finely diced yellow onion
    ◦ 1 large carrot, peeled
    ◦ 1 celery stalk
    ◦ ⅓ cup unsulphered molasses
    ◦ 2 tablespoons maple sugar
    ◦ ⅓ cup packed light brown sugar
    ◦ 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    ◦ 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
    ◦ 2 bay leaves
    ◦ 1 pinch ground cloves
    ◦ 8 ounces salt pork or bacon slab, cut into 1-inch cubes
    ◦ 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
    ◦ 2 dashes cider vinegar (optional)


    The night before:
    Sort through the beans to remove any debris and stones. Place the beans in a colander and rinse under cold water. Transfer to a large soup pot and cover with cold water. The water level should reach at least 2 inches above the beans. Leave to soak overnight.

    The next day:
    Drain the beans, rinse with cold water, and add fresh water to 2 inches below top of pot. Add the whole onion, carrot, and celery. Place the beans over medium heat and cook uncovered at a steady simmer until creamy and tender, about 45 minutes. Drain the beans through a colander, reserving half of the cooking water, and keeping the beans and cooking water separate. Discard the onion, carrot, and celery.

    Preheat the oven to 325° F.
    In a medium bowl, combine the molasses, maple sugar, brown sugar, salt, mustard, bay leaves, and cloves with 1 cup of the reserved bean cooking water. Stir until fully blended.

    Put the beans, salt pork, diced onion, and the molasses mixture in a heavy pot with a fitted lid (such as a Dutch oven) and mix well. Bake, stirring every 30 minutes, until tender, 4 to 5 hours. If the beans begin to look dry before they are ready, add about ½ cup of the reserved bean cooking water to moisten them. To develop a rich browning, the cooking liquid should come just to the top of the beans but not fully cover them.

    When the beans are done, remove them from the oven and stir well. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. You can also adjust the level of tartness with a splash or two of cider vinegar.

    Serves 6 to 8




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