Saturday, December 15, 2012

Boston Baked Beans

Beans, the magical fruit.  I've been magical for 4 days in a row, thanks to plenty of leftovers from making a giant batch of these beans.  Which were pretty damn tasty, lined up next to some smoked piggy parts from this place.  

Fuggedabout those wet beans in the jar, as delicious as they may be baked in the oven with some diced onion mixed in and roofed with bacon.  That's how it was done in my house.  But if you want to do the real deal Holyfield, from scratch, this is the way to go.  Classic.  Boston baked beans.  Right down to the accent.  Nomahhhh.  Pahhhk the cahhhh.  Why Boston?  It's all about the molasses.  Sure, it takes time, but winter Sundays are built for recipes like this.

When using dried beans, you should soak them first to prepare them, soften em up a bit.  The easiest way is to trow em in a pot and cover by 2" with cold water, and let sit 8 hours or overnight.  If you're pressed for time, bring that mixture to a boil and keep at a boil for 2 minutes, then remove from heat and let sit, covered, for 1 hour.

I'm here to yell you, the smell of onions sizzling in bacon fat is the eighth wonder of the world.  I'd make this recipe just for that.  If only the Yankee Candle people would take me seriously.....

Boston Baked Beans
makes enough for 8 magical servings, as a side

4 oz salt pork, rind removed, 1/2" dice
2 slices bacon, 1/4" dice
1 large yellow onion, diced
8 C water
1 lb dried white beans, i.e navy, picked over and rinsed, soaked
1/2 C plus 1 TB mild molasses
2 TB brown mustard
1 ts cider vinegar

Fire up the oven to 300F, rack in middle.

In your big ass heavy dutch oven, cook the salt pork and bacon over medium heat, stirring often, until most of the fat is rendered, about 7-9 minutes.   Add in the onion and cook until soft, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.  Introduce the water, beans, 1/2 C molasses, mustard, and 1.5 TB kosher salt.

Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil.  Cover and carefully transfer to the oven.  Bake for 4 hours, stirring halfway through. 

After 240 minutes of baking, remove the lid and give it a good stir, then continue to cook uncovered until it reaches a thicker syrupy consistency, about another 70-80 minutes.

Remove the beans from the oven, stir in the remaining TB molasses and cider vinegar.  Season with S&P to taste.  Serve immediately or keep on low heat for a bit, while you're watching the Bears beat up on the Packers in the first half. 

These Boston Baked Beans will keep for up to 5 days in the fridge. 

Now you lookee here.  This is the best bacon in the world.  Seriously.  The chef for the POTUS even says so.  You can get some right here.

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