It’s a little rainy and chilly here, and produce is still not available at the market. I’m itching to can something. Anything. I did two batches of chicken broth, but that didn’t satisfy the itch. So I decided to can with this recipe while waiting for strawberries and rhubarb.
I set out to make the baked beans of my childhood. That sweet, tangy elixir. The ones from the jar. With the big hunk of whitish, frighteningly delicious fat. I’ve been messing around with these flavors for awhile, and finally hit upon the perfect – well, MY perfect – baked bean.
These beans are so easy, you’re going to be thrilled to have them at your barbeque dinners this summer. One pound of beans will make four pints.
I took only one photograph of the entire process. The one at the top of the page. I don’t know what I was thinking.
So, I’ll give you some nature photos. The dogwood is just starting to bloom. (This one’s for you, Laura!)
Yankee Style Baked Beans
1# navy beans (I made one batch with borlotti beans and they were awesome)
12 oz guanciale or unsmoked bacon, cubed in 1/2″ dice
1 c chopped onion, 1/2″ dice
2 c tomato sauce or puree
1 c maple syrup
1 c apple cider syrup (reduce apple cider until syrup-y)
1 T Coleman’s mustard
2 T Worchestershire sauce
2 T thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1-2 tsp salt, according to your taste and the saltiness of the bacon or guanciale
Soak the beans overnight.
Preheat the oven to 300°
In a large dutch oven, cook the guanciale at a low temperature for 5-7 minutes, to render some of the fat. Turn the heat up and slightly crisp the corners.
Add the onion and cook until translucent.
Add all the other ingredients, stir well and bring to a simmer.
Add the beans, add water just to cover.
Cover the beans with parchment paper – this will keep them moist – and then with the pot lid or foil.
Slide the pot into the oven and cook for 2-3 hours.
Uncover the pot, stir well and cook for 1-2 additional hours, until the guanciale is beginning to crisp.
These beans will keep in the refrigerator for two weeks or more.
Pressure can for shelf stability at 10# of pressure for 75 minutes.