Lila’s Baked Beans
This family recipe is from New Hampshirite Lila Cederstrand. Years ago, as a resident of Summercrest Assisted Living in Newport, she asked the chef to prepare it for the residents, and the dish continues to be served regularly at the small facility. If baking the beans to be eaten the next day, it is best to leave them a bit juicy, as they absorb liquid in the refrigerator. It is traditional to serve the beans with brown bread.
1 pound dried beans (pea or navy)
1/3 pound lean salt pork
1 onion, peeled and quartered
1/4 cup dark brown sugar 1/3 cup molasses
1/3 cup maple syrup, grade B
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of salt
Pick over the beans for stones, and soak overnight covered by 4-inches of cold water.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Drain the beans and cover with cold water in a large pot. Bring the water to a boil and simmer beans until the skins crack when blown on, 30 minutes, or more depending on the age of the beans.
Drain beans and put into a 3-4 quart bean pot. Cut a slit in the salt pork and bury it, with the onion, in the beans.
Mix together the brown sugar, molasses, maple syrup, mustard, pepper, and salt and pour into the pot. Cover with the boiling water.
Bake the beans in 300 degree F oven, uncovered, for 3-4 hours, keeping them covered with boiling water until 30 minutes before they are done, during which time the beans will absorb the remaining water. The beans should be tender to the bite.
Makes 8-10 servings
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