|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
There is a definite difference between homemade baked beans and those out of a can. When you make them from scratch the beans maintain more of their texture and flavor, the notes of good-quality molasses can be detected.
Note that using full-flavored molasses and dark brown sugar will yield stronger, more deeply flavored baked beans. Feel free to play a bit with the amount of molasses and brown sugar you add.
- 1 pound navy beans or Great Northern beans
- 1/4 pound salt pork or bacon
- 1 onion
- 1/3 cup molasses
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon dry ground mustard
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt plus more to taste
Rinse the beans and pick them over, removing any truly shriveled specimens or bits of rock or grit. Put the beans in a large bowl and cover them with cool water. Let them soak overnight.
Preheat an oven to 250 F or get out a slow-cooker and set it to high.
Peel and chop the onion and put it on top of the beans. Add the remaining beans and top them with the remaining salt pork or bacon.
In a medium bowl or large measuring cup, combine the molasses, brown sugar, and mustard with 3 cups boiling water. Stir to dissolve the sugar and mustard and pour the mixture over the beans. Cover the pot or slow-cooker and cook the beans for 4 hours. Check on them; if the beans are tender to the bite, stir in the salt.
Cover again and cook for another 2 hours, removing the lid after the first hour (you can leave the lid on if you prefer soupier beans). The beans should be tender and the flavors fully blended.
You can serve the beans right away, but something even more magical happens to their flavor if you let them cool and reheat them the next day.