Baked Bean -- Failure
I decided to make real baked beans and used a recipe from The Feast Nearby
I really enjoyed this book and the gingerbread loaf was a hit.
So, last night I put the northern beans on to soak for 12 hrs. She said the baking soda in the soak was optional, but, I included it.
After emptying out the soaking water, she has you put 1/4 lb sliced salt pork in with the 1 lb of beans and water, bring to a boil (I skimmed off the foam even tho recipe did not say to do so) and then simmered 2 hrs. By this time, they were getting mushy. You are then to discard the salt pork that you boiled with the beans.
Then, you're to layer them in a pot with bay leaf, 1/2 sliced onion, 1 cup sulphured molasses (I only had unsulphured so I used that), 2 T Dijon and the rest of the salt pork (another 3/4 lb.)
You are supposed to bake this at 325 F for 4-6 hrs. I stopped all this after 3 hrs because beans were mushy AND not edible because WAY TOO SALTY. I'd been thinking all along a pound of salt pork for a pound of beans was A LOT.
So, I have to throw it all out. I've been looking at other recipes on the internet and some only call for a 1/2 lb of salt pork. (Could mine have been saltier than most? I got it from a very reputable store. Now, I want nothing more to do with salt pork.)
Any ideas? Do you have a recipe that you love?
Agree with not boiling the beans first. You want the beans to absorb the flavors when they are being 'slow cooked' for 4-6 hours. Next time try substituting a smoked pork hock. You'll have to remove the hock before serving and remove the meat then add the meat to the beans before serving. I like to use cannellini beans for no particular reason. The flavor from the smoked hock is absorbed into the beans with the other ingredients. Just check for 'doneness' after a few hours of slooooooooooooow cooking ie. under 212 degrees F. This method usually take about six hours.
I have been making Boston Baked Beans for a very long time. My mother, my grandmother, my great-grandmother all made baked beans and never once has anyone in the smtucker line boiled beans.
The salt pork needs to be washed and soaked to remove some of the salt. The rind should be removed.
Next time, try this recipe. Though not exactly how my family makes them, it is very good. [I actually prefer Northern beans to navy.]