2.17.2008

Stove Top "Boston Baked" Beans

Ever since my recent successful experience cooking old, old, dried chickpeas s-l-o-w-l-y, I've been thinking of bean tenderness and cooking time.

I love Boston Baked beans and decided to try cooking them the easiest method possible anticipating slow cooking would be key to the method. I wanted the prep to be as easy as possible, so I could do my Saturday crazy run of errands while the beans cooked. In a 3 1/2 quart saucepan, I tossed in a ham hock, dried, great northern beans (1/2 lb.), salt (1.5 t), brown sugar (2T), dry mustard (1T), pepper, cheapo generic bbq sauce (didn't have molasses, ca. 2T) and water to cover by a couple inches and gave a quick stir.

The mixture was heated to a boil and then placed on the smallest gas burner at the lowest setting half off the heat for the next 10 hours. It smelled lovely all day long. After the cooking, I pulled out and discarded the ham hock and gave a final taste. The consistency was a tad soupy, not thick but the flavor was nice. Not too sweet. I put the pot in the fridge overnight. Next morning, the beans had obviously continued cooking and simply aging. They thickened to a near perfect baked bean consistency. They are a tad more pale than most baked bean recipes because I didn't use molasses, but the taste is quite good. I'll be serving these with a small piece of ham and some bread this week. I'll put up a pic soon.

7 comments:

Andrew said...

Sounds tasty, gotta love beans. Next time you're smoking a pork shoulder, throw the beans under it for about 5 hours-can't miss. Don't let that pork fat go to waste!

rayb said...

I did the same thing last summer, but in a crock pot. It came out great.

Dave said...

Andrew, sounds perfect! Smoky goodness.

Ray, I'm so stingy with counter space, I won't use a slow cooker. Cast iron and a slow burner is my fix. I'd like a slow cooker someday. I might go hunting in thrift stores for one sometime. Perfect application for it.

White On Rice Couple said...

yes, can't wait for the pictures to see these kick butt beans. Congrats on cooking the old, old dried chickpeas. We probably wouldn't have even given them a chance!

Dave said...

Hey WRC, They came out wonderful and a fraction of the fat and sugar of canned (Bush's is actually pretty tasty, but HIGH calorie), but they're not terribly photogenic in my hands. I'll try, but no promises.

charcuterista said...

I would definitely recommend the thrift store route to slow cooker ownership. I spent five dollars for my Rival slow cooker and, despite my inital skepticism, I am in love. It's nice to be able to leave the house without worrying about scorching the bottom (especially of thicker stews and beans)...ah, freedom!

Dave said...

Yeah, thrift stores tend to carry quite a few crockpots, but I haven't found one with a removable crock (or whatever the pot is called, for cleaning) - yet. Given my recent thrill with beans, I'm totally looking forward to long slow cooks. Seems to be the perfect tool for the job.