Classic Boston Baked Beans (With a vegan option)

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Tools: Instant pot, slow cooker, or pot on the stove top

Prep time: Soak beans overnight, cook time dependent on tool used

Ingredients:

1 pound dry kidney beans

1 slice salt pork-3×3 inch chunk

1 whole onion- ends trimmed and outer skin removed

1/4 cup molasses

1/4 cup brown sugar

4 tsp. dry mustard powder

dash of liquid smoke

Instant pot method: Sort beans for any misshapen or broken beans, rinse and soak in large pot of water overnight. Drain water.

Combine all ingredients listed. Add enough water to cover the beans and an additional three inches. Set instant pot on manual for thirty minutes. Once manual setting is complete and pressure release valve allows, open and allow to boil on ‘saute’ setting for an additional thirty minutes, or until the water has reduced by half and broth becomes thickened. Salt to taste after desired consistency is reached.

Slow cooker method: Sort beans for any misshapen or defective beans, rinse and soak in large pot of water overnight. Drain water. Combine all ingredients listed. Add enough water to cover the beans and an additional three inches. Cook at least 8 hours on high, adding water as needed. Salt to taste once broth is desired consistency.

Stove top method: Sort beans for any misshapen or defective beans, rinse and soak in large pot of water overnight. Drain water. Combine all ingredients listed. Add enough water to cover the beans and an additional three inches. Bring beans to boil, reduce to simmer and cook approximately 4-6 hours- until beans are fully cooked and broth is desired consistency.

Vegan Variation: Omit salt pork, add 2 tbsp. spread of choice and 3 tbsp. smoked paprika. Prepare as directed above.

The dish a city claimed.

Mom curated this recipe from a lady whose in- laws were true Bostonians. She owned numerous clay pots and would bake her beans in the oven for hours, adding water as the cooking liquid reduced. Over time, the crocks would season like a good cast iron skillet. We don’t have any quality bean crocks (who does?) But most of us probably have a slow cooker, instant pot, or a stove top.

These beans are smoky, sweet, and have an incredible depth of flavor. They’re another family favorite. If nothing else, this blog is archiving my all time family favorites!

What are your family must-eats?

See my recipes on Pinterest!

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