Boston baked beans
The results from this classic recipe for Boston baked beans are fantastic, nothing like canned baked beans. As the beans need an overnight soaking, you need to start this recipe a day in advance. This is a very hearty recipe and you'll find that a little goes a long way.
These also freeze really well.
- 500g (1lb 2oz) dried white haricot beans
- 400g (14oz) strip of pork belly
- 3 tablespoons Muscovado sugar
- 3 tablespoons molasses or black treacle
- 1 teaspoon of mustard powder
- 2 clove buds
- 3 or 4 large shallots peeled or 2 small onions, peeled and quartered
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons of tomato purée
- 2 teaspoons of sea salt or to taste
- Soak the beans overnight in cold water, refreshing the water a few times if you are able.
- 20 minutes before you're ready to cook, preheat the oven to 140° C (257° F - gas 1), [fan oven 120° C & reduce cooking time by 10 mins per hour]
- Drain and rinse the soaked beans a few times in fresh cold water.
- Place in a large pan and cover by about 5 cm (2") of cold water - don't add any salt .
- Bring to the boil and boil vigorously for 15 minutes, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour
- This stage takes only 15 minutes if cooked in a pressure cooker, see: How to cook beans or pulses in a pressure cooker
- Drain the beans reserving the liquor
- Add the beans to a large casserole dish
- Remove the rind from the pork belly in one piece and add to the beans. Leaving it whole makes it easier to remove and discard at the end of the cooking process.
- Cut the pork belly into into 2.5cm (1") chunks and stir into the beans
- Push the cloves into one of the onion pieces or into a muslin bag so they can be easily retrieved
- Salt aside, mix the remaining ingredients into a few cups of the liquor and add to the beans
- If required, top up with hot water so the beans are barely covered
- Cover with the lid and bake for 3 hours
- After 3 hours remove the lid add a little more liquor if needed, bring the pork chunks to the surface, increase the oven temperature to 180°C (350°F, Gas 4) and bake uncovered for 1 to 1.5 hours, checking every 15 minutes until it reaches your desired consistency.
- remove the large onion pieces and the cloves and discard the pork rind.
- Season to taste with salt or soy sauce
- Chilli beans
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