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Boston Baked Beans

Cleaning out garages is an awful job, and I put it off until mine was so overstuffed I couldn't jam in anything more. But there are rewards too, like finding old kitchen treasures and remembering the wonderful food associated with ... Read more

Total time: 5 1/2 hours plus 8 hours soaking | Serves 8
  • 1 pound dried Great Northern beans
  • 1/2 pound salt pork
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • Dash paprika
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup bottled chili sauce
  • 1/4 cup sieved tomato (or tomato puree)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 small onion, peeled

Step 1Wash the beans. Soak them overnight in water to cover generously.

Step 2The next day, drain the beans and place in a large saucepan with fresh water. Bring to a boil and cook until the skins wrinkle, about 1 hour.

Step 3Heat the oven to 325 degrees.

Step 4Drain the beans, reserving the cooking liquid. Place half the beans in a bean pot, top them with a layer of half the salt pork, then add the remaining beans, followed by the salt pork as the top layer.

Step 5Combine the sugar, mustard, paprika and salt to taste in a bowl. Add the chili sauce, tomato and 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Pour over the beans. Place the onion on top.

Step 6Cover the beans and bake them for 2 hours. Check the liquid occasionally. If the beans become too dry, add a little more of the cooking liquid. After 2 hours, increase the heat to 350 degrees and bake until the beans are tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 2 hours. If the beans are too wet, bake them an additional 30 minutes.

Note: This old recipe is slightly revised from the original, which was designed to go with an electric casserole produced by Westinghouse. The original recipe called for cooking the beans with baking soda for half an hour, a step eliminated here. Because my garage clean-out did not uncover an electric casserole, I have substituted an old-fashioned bean pot.
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