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!
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.
Filed under: side dishes