Saturday, April 13, 2013

My Baked Beans

I make baked beans once a year,
 traditionally for Maple Festival at Lily's

This year Carding Brook Farm (My maple syrup source) didn't tap trees
but started greens and goodness in their new hoop house

So, being a fan of change we are doing a 
Hoop House Brunch tomorrow at Lily's
and of course I made baked beans

Except this year I didn't have any homemade bacon ends left
from my yearly pig from Old Ackley

What I did have were unsmoked ham hocks
and I am here to tell you - they are delicious!!

To make up for the extra salt I usually get from using cured bacon
I seasoned the ham hocks liberally with kosher salt
while the beans endured their first simmer in salted water

Then I piled them into Big Bertha (my very large Creuset pot)
along with the beans and all the fixins and after 4 hours I had these 
beautiful baked beans with tender meat falling from the hock bones
Yum!  I can't wait for tomorrow :0)


I halved my recipe, double it if you are feeding an army 
or want to freeze portions for later

2 pounds of yellow eye beans 
(locally grown in Maine by the way)
2 tsp sea salt
2 cups of diced yellow onion
4 tsp dried mustard
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp sea salt
1 large ham hock
kosher salt
(Of course you can use 1/2 pound of bacon or pancetta or salt pork, etc. instead!)

Season ham hock liberally with kosher salt and set aside to rest

Put the beans in a large pot and cover with cold water by 2 inches
Bring to boil, add 2 tsp sea salt, cover, reduce heat a bit 
and simmer beans until just tender, about 1 1/2 hours
Don't over cook them

Meanwhile in your bean pot put seasoned hock, diced onions, mustard, ginger,
molasses, maple syrup, vinegar and last tsp of sea salt
Stir to combine

Add drained beans, cover with fresh cold water to cover by 1/2 an inch

Cover pot and put in a 325 degree oven to bake for about 3 1/2 hours,
checking every so often that you haven't lost all your liquid
(If the beans get a bit dry - just add a bit of boiling water)
After 3 1/2 hours the beans should be plumb, soft but not mushy and 
amber in color and your liquid should taste delicious
Remove the cover and continue to bake for another 45 minutes
until the liquid is thickened to a sauce and the top is nice and brown and crusty

I think baked beans taste better the second day, so I always make them
in advance and reheat them to serve

And maybe we will see you tomorrow at Lily's
 anytime between 11am - 2pm

Thank you,

1 comment:

  1. Hello!

    We loved the article in the BDN and your beans look awesome! Hope to pay you a visit soon!

    Best Wishes
    George Adams CPA MBA