This Northeast Dish Is Chock-Full of Flavor and Is the Perfect Side for Hamburgers and Hot Dogs

If there’s one dish that has stood the test of time in America, it’s baked beans—this dish has been around for centuries!

Boston Baked Beans

Serves 6 to 10

Ingredients

2 cups
dried white navy beans
Kosher salt
3
garlic cloves, peeled
1
yellow onion, trimmed, peeled, and halved
1
carrot, trimmed, peeled, and halved
2
sprigs of rosemary or thyme
1
bay leaf
½ cup
dark molasses
2 teaspoons
Dijon mustard
Freshly ground black pepper
½ pound
salt pork or slab bacon, cut into small chunks
1 large
yellow onion, trimmed, peeled, and diced

Directions

Place beans in a medium-sized bowl and cover with water by 2 inches. Add in 1 tablespoon of salt; stir. Soak beans for 12 hours; drain and rinse.

Place rinsed beans into a large pot, along with the garlic cloves, halved onion and carrot, rosemary or thyme sprigs, and bay leaf; cover with water by several inches. Add in a large pinch of salt. Bring water to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer beans for about 45 minutes or until beans are completely tender. Note: If necessary, add water to keep water level above beans. When beans are completely tender, remove and discard garlic, onion, carrot, rosemary or thyme, and bay leaf using a slotted spoon or tongs.

While beans are cooking, place the molasses and Dijon mustard into a 2-cup measuring cup. Add a pinch of salt and a large pinch of black pepper; stir.

Before draining beans, make sure you have a bowl under the strainer to catch the cooking liquid. Drain beans and reserve cooking liquid. Pour some of the reserved cooking liquid into the molasses mixture up to the 2 cups mark; stir until the molasses is dissolved. Reserve remaining cooking liquid.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Set an oven-proof Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add pork to Dutch oven, cook and stir for about 5 minutes or until pork is beginning to brown and fat is rendered. Add diced onion to Dutch oven; cook and stir for about 5 minutes, until onion is turning golden and getting very tender. Add beans to Dutch oven.

Add the molasses mixture into the Dutch oven; stir well. Pour enough of the reserved cooking liquid into the Dutch oven until the cooking liquid just barely covers the beans; stir, making sure that none of the beans are sticking out above the water. Bring to a simmer.

Transfer the beans to the oven. Bake beans, uncovered, for about 4 hours, until beans are tender but still mostly whole. During the baking process, check the beans 1-2 times per hour to check on the water level. If the water level is going below the bean line and beans are drying out, add more of the reserved cooking liquid to the Dutch oven to keep the beans at the top from drying out. If you need to add more cooking liquid, make sure that the liquid is even with the bean level. During the entire baking process, stir the beans 2 times, leveling out the top each time. You will notice that a dark brown crust will begin form on the surface of the beans. This is expected. During the last hour of baking do not add any more cooking liquid unless the water level drops significantly.

Remove beans from the oven; stir. You should notice a thick glaze. If you do not notice a thick glaze and the beans are dry, you can add boiling water in very small amounts to the beans until a glaze has been accomplished. If the beans appear too wet, you can simmer them on the stove until the desired thickness has been reached. Add salt and pepper, to taste, if desired. Keep the beans warm until ready to serve. If you have leftovers they can be reheated by placing in a saucepan with a little bit of water.