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Homemade Baked Beans

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I have always loved baked beans, and I have wanted to try a homemade version for a while now.  In the past, I’ve alwasy gotten a can of Bush’s Baked Beans and doctored them up a little bit, but I wanted to see if the homemade version was much different.  I have also been trying to use my Joy of Cooking cookbook more, so I decided to try a recipe from there.

Homemade baked beans do not require a lot of hands-on work, but they do bake for quite a while (at least 4 hours) in the oven, so it is something that you need to plan ahead for.  After simmering the beans until they are tender, you mix them with the flavorings and seasonings and bake until they are done, which you will know by texture.  I really like the flavor that the bacon adds, but you can leave it out if you want these to be vegetarian-friendly.  I made a huge batch of beans, and found that they freeze well, and that is something I would recommend doing, so you can have good baked beans on hand without having to plan ahead.  These would be great for summer cookouts that you may have coming up!

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Baked Beans
Adapted from The Joy of Cooking

1 ½ cups dried white beans or navy beans, rinsed and picked over

½ cup boiling water or beer

¼ cup chopped onion

3 tablespoons molasses

3 tablespoons ketchup

1 tablespoon dry mustard

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, optional (I recommend adding this!)

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon vinegar

4 ounces sliced salt pork (I used bacon)

Soak beans.  Drain, then cover with water in a large saucepan.  Bring to a boil, then simmer slowly, covered, until tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.

Drain the beans, reserving the cooking water.  Combine the beans in a greased casserole dish with remaining ingredients, placing the pork on top.  Bake, covered, 4 to 4 ½ hours; uncover for the last hour of cooking.  If they become too dry, add a little chicken broth or reserved bean water.

8 Responses

  1. I’ve seen variations of this recipe around and wanted to try it but I thought the bacon was an integral part of it so I haven’t (since I’m vegetarian). Perhaps I will give it a try though!

  2. What a great recipe, especially for upcoming BBQs!

  3. I love baked beans as well and have been wanting to give them a try “from scratch”. I have Joy of Cooking and unfortunately seem to forget about it a lot! These sound great!

  4. I love homemade beans, my grandmas seem to make the BEST beans!

  5. Homemade baked beans are SO worth this effort – these look delicious!

  6. Yum! I’ve always loved baked beans!

  7. Wow – I’m very impressed. They look delicious – and not a lot of hands-on work, which is nice.

    You can freeze baked beans? I didn’t know that!

  8. I’ve been on a home made kick lately, so that I know what is in my food. These look great, and I’m glad you mentioned they freeze well, that way with one effort I’ll have several dinners taken care of.

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