Flavoured with molasses and baked to dark, rich brown, Boston Baked Beans are traditionally American. In colonial New
England, this flourishing combination of beans, salt pork and molasses was often baked in the oven with the zoeek’s bread and then eaten with thick slices of the steaming hot, brown bread. Today, Boston Baked Beans are usually served with roast pork or ham.
8 oz. fat salt pork
2 lb. dried haricot, pea or kidney beans, washed and drained
1 teaspoons salt
1 large onion
1 oz. brown sugar
6 tablespoons molasses or black treacle
3 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon black pepper
Put the salt pork in a large bowl. Add cold water to cover. Soak the salt pork for
3 hours and drain well. Place the beans in a large saucepan and add enough cold water to cover. Add
1 teaspoon of salt. Bring the water to the boil over high heat. Boil the beans for
2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let the beans soak in the water for
Return the pan to the heat and bring the beans to the boil again. Reduce the heat to very low, partially cover the pan and slowly simmer the beans for 30 minutes. Drain the beans and discard the liquid.
Preheat the oven to very cool 250 °F (Gas Mark J, 130°C).
Place the whole onion in the bottom of a large flameproof casserole. Add a layer of the cooked, drained beans to the casserole.
Thickly slice the drained salt pork and cut each slice into small chunks. Arrange a layer of salt pork over the beans in the casserole. Add another layer of beans and finish with a layer of salt pork.
In a small bowl, with a wooden spoon mix together the brown sugar, molasses, or treacle, mustard, black pepper and the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt. Spoon the mixture over the beans and pork. Add enough boiling water to cover the beans.
Cover the casserole and place it in the oven. Bake for 5 hours, adding boiling water from time to time so that the beans are always just covered.
Remove the lid of the casserole and bake uncovered for 45 minutes. Serve straight from the casserole.