The Dumpling Diary

Dis cooking so you cooking too.

You don’t know beans about beans! October 22, 2010

Filed under: Main Dishes,Side Dishes — Meg @ 3:32 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Not yet, anyhow. Well, maybe you do! In which case, consider yourself my dearest friend. I’ve been inspired by a new acquaintance of mine and Jon’s, an Acadian man from New Brunswick, gardener extraordinaire, and a good home cook, too! Check out his channel on Youtube! It’s fantastic. Anyhow, I’ve been all up into the Down East stuff lately (pea soup is still in my veins – also, I tried to clarify the thickening process to whoever it was who was having issues with it, it’s in that post!). So, what I want to say here, is, we’ve all had baked beans, pork and beans, whatever you want to call it, fèves au lard, etc. FROM A CAN. Nothing wrong with that! Hobo’s delight! MY delight. My dad and I used to regularly sit down to a meal of baked beans and toast, maybe fry up some sausages, and for me, that’s a good memory, hopefully more of that to come. You guys all know that I LOVE simple food. Culinary school made me realize that, more than anything. That, and being on a budget most of the time, ahah. Anyhow, it’s one thing to bust out a can opener and have yourself some baked beans from a tin. Standard tomato sauce recipe, if you’re real lucky, maybe the Boston Baked Beans with little bits of hardly-cooked, low-end pork… product. I don’t know if it’s actually salt pork, but, hey. It’s in there. However, I think it’s a treat to spend a good, long time cooking REAL baked beans. Baked in the oven for hours on end. The devastation of waiting, followed by the satisfaction of actually getting to eat it. That’s really the best way, I think. Heh.
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Anyhow, you may or may not know, but baked beans are a pretty standard meal (well, maybe not so much now, but, say, 50 years ago and prior) in the Maritimes. Think Boston Baked Beans. Northeastern Atlantic food. Anyhow, to coincide with my recent Nova Scotia fixation, that’s what I made. Old-fashioned baked beans with molasses and salt pork. Mmm! No ketchup or tomato sauce in this bidness!
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Lassie Baked Beans
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Ingredients
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1 lb dried white beans (great northern or navy, but if you can find yellow eyed peas, use them) SOAKED OVERNIGHT (***or quick soak)
2 small onions, chopped finely
1 Tbsp prepared mustard (or 2 tsp dried)
1/2 tsp pepper
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup molasses (I used fancy, blackstrap will probably work too)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 bay leaf
water
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Method
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After sorting through soaked beans, rinse and give them a once-over and pick out any possible stones, sticks or less-than-desirable beans (the plants where they package these things generally don’t rinse them and use machines for sorting). Put in a large cooking pot or dutch oven and cover with water 2-3 inches above the level of the beans. Cook at a simmer for about 1 1/2 hours, until the beans are just starting to crack apart when you squeeze one between your fingers.
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In a bean crock or cast iron dutch oven (you could probably use a bigbigbig glass casserole pan/tinfoil too), add all remaining ingredients, mixing well. Add drained beans and stir, then add the cooking liquid from when you parboiled them, and if necessary, fresh water, to just cover the beans, maybe 1/4″ or so.
Mix again, it’ll look like this:
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So, cover that with a lid and put in a preheated 325 degree F oven, and cook for two hours. Then take it out and check it. It should look like this:
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So, give that a stir, see where the water level is at. If you think it needs more, add some, just to hit that 1/4″ level again. Cover again, and put back in a 350 degree F oven. Cook for another two hours or so, until beans are tender (you could leave it at 325 F if you have more time to spare though, by all means). Remove lid and cook for another half hour, to thicken up the sauce that’s being created inside. When it’s done, it’ll look like this:
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So, that’s essentially it! Long cooking time, but really easy to make. Worth it! You can serve these with extra molasses if you like, but I will insist that you eat these alongside some nice toasty brown bread and a hot cup of good, strong tea! Anyhow, for me, that’s the only way. I like to eat these as a main dish, to savour the living hell out of them, because they’re so good on their own. But, if you’re going to be a dick about it, you could also fry up some sausages or something too, I’m sure that would be tasty too. Anyhow, hope you try this recipe out, I know you gonna luh it!
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***To quick soak beans, place them in a pot with enough water to cover them (2-3 inches above level of beans). Bring to a boil, cover and let simmer about 3 minutes. Turn off heat, leave lid on, and let sit for an hour (without removing the lid). That’s all!
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Gonna go work on ANOTHER post now (I’ve got some time to kill for a bit), megohm over and out!

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