Monday, January 07, 2008

Vermont Baked Beans

The lessons I have learned: start early in the morning. Even the quick bean softening (boiling them) takes hours and hours. The baking of the beans is still a mystery: just bake them till they are ready. You will know when you taste them. Amy had us use some bacon she got from a farm instead of salt pork. The bacon was great but next time it's salt pork. So here is what you do:

1 lb (453 grams) dry navy beans (we used Jack Rabbit Brand)
1/4 lb of salt pork
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup Vermont maple syrup (we used grade D)
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1 tbsp brown sugar

Quickly bring the beans to a boil and then let soak gently boil for one hour. After that, cook until the skins burst (hours and hours). Drain but save the water. Put one half of the salt pork on the bottom of your bean pot. Put in the beans. Mix up the syrup, salt, mustard and brown sugar. Pour over the beans in the pot. Add enough bean water to cover the beans. Put the other half of the salt pork on the top. Bake, covered, for 4-6 hours at 250°F (121°C). Uncover your bean pot the last half-hour. This made enough for three meals for the two of us.

"Navy beans got their name because they used to be a staple on U. S. Naval ships. They are a mild flavored bean which is excellent for soups and baking. Navy beans and other beans, such as pinto beans and black beans, are all known scientifically as Phaseolus vulgaris. They are referred to as “common beans” probably because they all derived from a common bean ancestor that originated in Peru. Navy beans are high in protein (22.33%) and minerals." from

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