Boston baked beans are a must for any summer party. They are a great side for any grilled meal, for burgers and for hot dogs. They are also very easy to make.
This recipe calls for soaking the beans overnight so plan ahead. I used small white beans but navy or great Northern beans will work just as well. Also, you can bake your beans in a braising pan if you have one or in a casserole dish with a cover. I prefer to use my Dutch oven braising pan because it means less clean up for me!
If you decide to use canned beans they will be ready faster. Make sure to strain and rinse the beans before you use them.
Here is what you are going to need for these Boston baked beans recipe:
2 cups small white beans
1/2 pound bacon, preferably maple, sliced into 1 inch pieces
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup dark molasses
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Rinse the beans well, making sure to remove all of their dirt. Place the washed beans in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. You need to have about 2 inches of extra water over the beans as these will rehydrate and get bigger in size. Add 1/2 a teaspoon of baking soda to prevent abdominal gas. Soak beans over night.
Place soaked beans in a large pot with the soaking water. Add a little more water if necessary. Bring the beans to a boil, cover and reduce the heat. Simmer for 2 hours until tender. Drain the beans and reserve the liquid.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Heat a large, heavy Dutch oven pan – if you don’t have one use any heavy pan you might have – and add the sliced bacon. Cook until lightly crisped. Remove bacon and place on paper towels. Add the onions to the rendered bacon fat and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent. Add the beans and all of the other ingredients, including the cooked bacon. Add enough of the beans cooking liquid to cover them. Mix well and bring to a soft boil. If using a braising pan, cover and place pan in the oven. If you are not using a braising pan, transfer the beans to a casserole dish and cover it with its lid or aluminum foil. Bake beans for approximately 4 hours. Check the beans half way through and add some more liquid if they are drying up. Serve and enjoy!