Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Amazing Race: Boston Baked Beans

The Amazing Race 17! Racers will take off from Boston tonight- can't wait.
Recipe from The New Basics Cookbook

  • 1 pound dried navy or Great Northern beans
  • 8 ounces slab or thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/4" pieces
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 6 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 6 tablespoons dark molasses
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  1. Rinse and pick through the beans. Soak them overnight in a large pot of water.
    Rinse the soaked beans well under cold water and place them in a heavy saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until tender, 45 minutes to an hour. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid.
  2. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
  3. Place a 2-quart flameproof casserole or dutch oven over medium heat and saute bacon until slightly crisp and fat is rendered, about five minutes. Add the onions and garlic, cooking until it's wilted, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the brown sugar and stir over medium-low heat until it has dissolved, about five minutes. Stir in the ketchup, syrup, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Add the drained beans and mix well.
  5. Cover and transfer to the oven. Bake, stirring occasionally, for 2 1/2 hours. Make sure you scrape the bottom when you stir.
  6. Add 3/4 cup of the reserved bean liquid, cover, and bake another 30 minutes. Remove the cover and bake, stirring once, until the sauce is thick and syrupy, another 10-15 minutes.
  7. Serve hot.

Boston Baked Beans have an interesting history. From what I've read, the Puritans would slowly cook beans on Saturday evenings and consume them, still hot, on Sundays, their Sabbath, when they were unable to work due to their religion. Traditional Boston Baked Beans recipes use molasses, as molasses was widely available due to Boston's rum trade. (You learn something new every day.) And do you know about the Boston Molasses Disaster? You can't make this stuff up.

Tim loves baked beans, but I'd never attempted them from scratch. It's quite the process, both taking longer and being more expensive than buying canned. However, it isn't a lot of work, as you can just throw the pot in the oven and go watch some football. :)

Tim's Rating: 9/10
Liz's Rating: 8.5/10

Next week on The Amazing Race 17: London, England.


Mary Ellen said...

When my husband and I were watching the Amazing Race Sunday, I told him about your blog and how you cook for each episode- so cool! I was looking forward to checking out what you are cooking this season!

Val said...