I wanted something to warm my home, not only with the oven's heat, but also with the smells of good, down-home food.I wanted homemade Boston Baked Beans. No, not the kind from a can where you dump extra goodies into them to "spiff" them up, but real homemade baked beans. The kind that start with dry beans and end with someone asking for a third helping.
I also wanted cornbread. Golden, crumbly, buttery cornbread. And I wanted a butter churn, so that just like Ma, I could make a butter worthy of the being slathered onto the hot, cornbread.
We can't have everything.
But we can come pretty darn close!
Monday's No Peek Boston Baked Beans
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/2-3/4 pound dry navy beans
1 tsp liquid smoke
1 pinch red pepper flakes
3/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp dry mustard
salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- In dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat until hot and add onion. Cook until onion starts to soften, about 5 minutes, and add the garlic. Cook for 1 minute and then add tomato paste. Cook for 2 minutes, letting the paste deepen in color.
- Stir in 5 cups of water, beans, liquid smoke, red pepper flakes, molasses, brown sugar and mustard.
- Cover and bake for 2 hours. Do not peek at the beans for the entire time!
- Remove beans from oven, stir, and bake for another 30 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper and more molasses if you want.
- Turn oven temp to 425 and bake for another 25 minutes.
- (I tossed the cornbread in for this last stretch of cooking.)
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour
4 Tb unrefined sugar (You can use white sugar. It'll work just fine.)
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Crisco for greasing skillet
(Gasp! I know, I know. Crisco? Folks, nothing beats it when it comes to keeping things from sticking to a skillet. Nothing. Feel free to use something healthier, though, if you want to spend the evening scrubbing the heck out of your skillet.)
- In a large bowl combine dry ingredients.
- Add buttermilk, egg, oil and parsley.
- Beat until smooth.
- Pour the batter into a well-greased cast iron skillet.
- Bake 25 minutes at 425 degrees.
I hope you love these as much as we did, because the whole darn meal was just delicious.
If you have never had baked beans from scratch, you have really gotta make this.
Rootin and Tootin,