Monday, 28 May 2012

Boston Baked Beans

Tins of baked beans are quite expensive, and to be honest, some of them are quite inconsistent.  Open a tin, the sauce is either too watery or its too thick, or sometimes just too sweet. 

I decided to have a go at making a big batch of the famous American version at home. I am sure every American, more to the point Bostonian has there own version of Boston Baked Beans, this is one that I have decided to make.  I served these yesterday with the blackest jacket potatoes ever, don't ask !
If there had been any left overs, I  know we would have been enjoying it this week for breakfast: with potato hash brown waffles, with fried eggs, with toast,.  The natural molasses flavour does take some getting used too.  D suggested maybe spicing it up for next time, perhaps a tablespoon of chilli sauce.  I like that suggestion.
This post is linked to Just Another Meatless Monday  hosted by What's for Dinner Mom? 
Boston Baked Beans.
Ingredients
Serves 8 – 10 as as an accompaniment
400g dried cannelini or haricot beans, soaked overnight then boiled the following day until tender.   
1 large onions, finely sliced and chopped
Enough water to cover the beans
125ml molasses
salt and pepper
2 teaspoons of mustard
Method
Drain beans and place in a large casserole/ovenproof dish or slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients. Cover with foil and simmer for 3 hours in the oven, checking every hour to stir and perhaps add a little water.  Or 8 to 10 hours in a slow cooker, stir from time to time.

39 comments:

  1. Looks authentic! This New Englander likes your version! We sometimes put in a spicy Chorizo or hot Italian sausage that's been cut into small bites ... your D might like that version and we also cut back on the molasses and supplement maple syrup ... it has a more delicate sweetness. Yum! With a pan of cornbread and maybe some codfish cakes, it is a traditonal New England Saturday night supper.

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    1. Thank you Susan,
      That means a lot to me, esp. as I've never had the real thing :) I sometimes make a veggie version of chorizo, so in the future may give that a go. And cornbread too.

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  2. This is a traditional dish in Québec.
    With traditionaly a little bit of pork, wich I do not include of course. Some people use maple syrup instead of molasse.
    When I do baked beans, I always make 2 batches; one with molasse and one with maple syrup. So everybody in the family have their favorite!
    It's sooooo good!

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    1. That is interesting to know speciliste. OOh maple syrup I think would be toooo sweet for my liking, plus v. expensive. So I think I will stick to molasses or even treacle.

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  3. Ha! I couldn't get over during my UK trip seeing beans at breakfast - ewwww to us, it'd be like having a plate of spaghetti with our eggs hehe. But the waffles sound delish! :)

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    1. Thanks ecogrrl. I know beans are on every breakfast menu, does get boring.

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  4. Interesting, I know exactly what you mean about watery beans where you have to drain all the excess liquid off only to find hardly any beans in the can. Or too thick and weird or sweet, I usually end up back with Heinz after trying to save money on shop own brand ones and then finding them foul.
    It would be good to try and make my own. Molasses freaks me out a bit because I once bought a tin especially for a recipe, might have been a cake, but it all went horribly wrong and all I could taste was sticky molasses and I've never ventured near it again! I might have to go with a spicy bean alternative, do you think this recipe would still work without the molasses?
    Sally

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    1. Thanks Sally.
      My husband been going for the Branston variety recently, as the Heinz ones have been a tad sweet now and again. You should try making your own, if molasses makes you hesitant, try black treacle. You will need one or the other, the taste will not be the same without. Maybe even maple syrup as some of my readers here suggest, but I think for us in the U.K, maple syrup is pricey, and a bit of a luxury food.

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  5. Hi there! Found you through meatless mondays. These look FANTASTIC. We're big bean eaters around here and I am trying more and more to make them from scratch instead of from the tin, and you've definitely given me good inspiration to make these very soon. Wish I had soaked some ebans over night and Id make the right NOW! :)

    Im pinning this, thanks again!

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    1. Thank you old fashioned housewife. Nice to make your acquaintance. Hope you get to make some baked beans at home soon.

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  6. You are right...every family seems to have their own recipe, adjusted just for their taste. Here in Nova Scotia, many families also have proper brown ceramic bean pots which are almost no fail for baking beans. D's suggestion is very valid, and one I use also. My recipe calls for a squeeze of tomato ketchup at the end of cooking which I rather like.

    Now about the blackest jacket potatoes ever??? BG

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    1. Thanks GardeningBren.
      OOh like the sound of proper brown ceramic bean posts, would love to see what one looks like. If I make these again, they will def. be spiced up...maybe even a squeeze of ketchup, that's brown ketchup for me :)

      And the jacket potatoes...we had a bit of a fire in the garden, burning some wood and I decided to chuck some foil wrapped potatoes on top ...not a BBQ person, well when the foil was unwrapped, yeph they were pretty much inedible. I learn for next time, chuck the potatoes on when the fire is not raging. Truth is I don't BBQ at all, so this was a new experience for me. And one that made those present chuckle.

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  7. whoa that is lot of molasses - lots of iron - I have found that substituting some golden syrup for molasses helps - though I have tried a few baked beans recipes and not yet found my perfect one

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    1. Ah some golden syrup for molasses, mmm I will keep that in mind Johanna.

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  8. What would a typical British version of baked beans be like? Answer me here: scrout1944@msn.com if you are so inclined.

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    1. Hi Stephen, I am afraid you will have to google it.

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  9. oh my gosh, baked beans are one of my favorite foods! the sweet and smokey flavor!yum! thanks for sharing! they look amazing!

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  10. I would not eat baked beans from a tin. I make my own but use treacle instead of molasses. I posted the recipe awhile back. I double up and freeze them in 1-2 person portions.

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    1. Thanks Cookie Jar, I was told that treacle would be a good sub. too, so I will try that in the future as well.

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  11. Looks like a great, simple recipe! I love baked beans, but too often they have a consistency problem, as you say. I'm bookmarking these!

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  12. So this is real baked beans! look fantastic, smokey and rich with the sweetness from molasses! I'm surprised there's actually no tomato involved. I still need to get over te idea of those baked beans you get in a can, those I used to resort to before I learnt to cook for myself.

    I really like the sound of this, will give it a go myself, maybe using butter beans as it's the only white bean I have at home. And I'll use the slow cooker.

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    1. Thanks Shu Han. Yeah I was surprised at the non existence of tomatoes, as the British ones are very tomatoey in flavour. I think butterbeans would be lovely too and slow cooked, even better.

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  13. Cooking the beans in a large pressure cooker can speed up the cooking time and make the beans even more tender - lovely recipe, thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks NacyDe.
      I do actually have a pressure cooker, but am still a little nervous using it. I picked it up two yars ago, first time I used it, the bens cooked well, the second time - overdone, so its makes me hesitant. But it is worth doign for sure. Thanks for reminding me.

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    2. I have to say that every time I pull that pressure cooker out, I am quite nervous, but I cook lbs of beans every month to throw in the freezer for refried beans. I am getting to the point where I don't think I am going to blow up the kitchen every time....

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    3. Yeah, I need to use it more. the more I use it, the more used to it I will become; and those associated thoughts about it will diminish :)

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  14. Imagine my surprise when I saw BOSTON BAKED BEANS!When I cooked for the barn I made both standard and vegetarian baked beans just about every week.We always used what we call Navy Beans. Don't know if you have them over there. They are much smaller than cannelini.Onions and garlic are placed in the bottom of the bean pot,then covered with the beans which soaked overnight.Reg has salt pork Water,1/2molasses 1/2maple syrup=125ml,mustard and water are whisked together and poured over beans to cover.Vegetarian has added ginger for bite.Pot is loosely covered and water is added as needed.Looks to me that the recipes are quite similar.Leftovers would be nice.......but,seldom happen.

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    1. Thanks Hobbit :)
      I am sure we get navy beans in the U.K, but they probably go under a different name - perhaps flageolet. I like the sound of the garlic and ginger in yours.

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  15. Have always fancied cooking my own baked beans. I have had home cooked beans when I have been out for breakfast. Didn't know they had molasses in the dish. Must give these a go - they looked delicious coming out of the oven.

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  16. Yummy this looks great.

    Check out my food blog
    www.thedailysmash101.blogspot.com

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  17. Hi friend! This looks amazing! I am a huge fan of beans and want some of these ASAP! and I am with your first commenter, chorizo, yes!

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    1. Good to hear from you Chilean Woman,
      When I make some more in the near future, I will try with soem vegan chorizo.

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