Vermont – Style Baked Beans


2 lb. dried navy or pea beans, washed & softened

11 c. cold water

1/2 lb. salt pork, scored deeply criss-cross fashion

2 lg. yellow onions, peeled & scored deeply criss-cross fashion

4 tsp. dry mustard

3 1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1 1/2 c. pure maple syrup

1/4 c. dark molasses


Soak beans overnight in the water in a large heavy kettle. Next day set kettle of beans and their soaking water over moderate heat, bring to a boil, reduce heat so that beans bubble gently, then simmer, covered, for 40 minutes. Drain the beans, reserving the cooking water. Place beans in a very large bean pot (3 1/2-4 quart capacity). Push chunk of salt pork and onions well down into beans. Blend together mustard, salt, pepper, maple syrup and molasses. Pour over the beans and stir to mix. Now pour in enough reserved cooking water so that it is visible in the beans, but does not cover them, about 3 cups. Reserve remaining cooking water to add later unless beans begin to boil dry. Cover pot of beans and bake in a very slow oven (275 degrees) for 3 hours, stirring every hour or so. Uncover beans and bake 1-1 1/2 hours longer, stirring now and then, until they are touched with brown. If beans seam dry at any point, stir in just enough reserved cooking water to moisten them.


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