From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...No trip to the Cape Cod would be complete without sampling the baked beans for which New England is famous. There are two types served in this region of the country and the identification of either can be muddy. Fortunately, I had some help. I got to spend some time with an oysterman - actually a woman - who was also a guide at one of the local museums. Now oysters and beans have little in common, but in the course of our conversation, changes in the American diet came into play. She noted that there was a time when dishes like oyster stew, baked beans and mac n' cheese were the meal rather than part of it. While oysters dominated the conversation, we kept returning to what was once a staple of the island locals, suppers of baked beans and brown bread. There are two types of beans served here. Classically, Boston baked beans are made with molasses, while the New England variety is made with maple syrup. The muddy part of this comes when ingredients are mixed and the bean pot contain elements of both. The beans we ate on the island contained both syrup and molasses and were much sweeter than those we normally ate at home. They were also cooked in a different manner than any I had prepared before. The beans were delicious, but I must admit, that to my taste anyway, they were a bit too sweet. The next time I make these I'll cut back on the amount of molasses that I use. Other than that, this is a near perfect recipe and I recommend it to those of you who are trying to contain your food costs. These beans are a perfect feature for Frugal Friday and I think you will enjoy them. Here is how they are made.
Boston Baked Beans...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by Heather and Martha Zschock
2 cups dried navy beans, rinsed
8 cups water
2 teaspoons salt, divided use
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup light molasses
1-1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
1/4 cup salt pork
1 onion quartered
1) Place beans, water and 1 teaspoon of salt in a large ovenproof kettle. Bring to a boil, than reduce heat and simmer, covered for 1-1/2 hours.
2) Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Drain beans, reserving liquid. Return beans to kettle.
3) Combine garlic, maple syrup, molasses, mustard and reserved 1 teaspoon salt in a bowl and mix well. pour mixture over beans. Addjust enough bean cooking liquid to cover beans. Score salt pork. Poke pork and quartered onion into middle of beans.
4) Cover pot and place in oven. Bake for 3 hours, checking every 45 minutes to make sure beans are covered with liquid. If needed, add more reserved cooking liquid to cover beans. Yield: 6 servings.
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