Boston Baked Beans
For this example of porky love, I went to my favorite cooking resource, Cook’s Illustrated. I recommend that anyone interested in home cooking subscribe to their website at http://www.cooksillustrated.com/. The beans come out sweet and smoky, with a supporting pork flavor from the salt pork, and small bites of toothy pork from the bacon. This is an inexpensive, easy way to get the most out of white beans, which can be pretty bland. Although usually a side dishes, I will eat these on their own for a small, but very satisfying dinner. This will destroy the Pork ‘n Beans in your supermarket canned foods aisle. The beans absorb all the flavors as they slowly become tender, but the slow cooking keeps each bean pretty much intact, giving a nice layer of texture to the final dish.
This meal starts off with some salt pork and bacon (both homemade). You should put them in the pot cold, and let the fat slowly render and crisp up the bacon.
Throw in some diced onion, and your kitchen will be smelling really good.
Then comes a pound of white navy beans, some mustard, cider wine vinegar and some good quality molasses.
Cover by an inch or two with water, bring up to a simmer and place in the oven at 300 degrees.
After about four hours, much of the liquid should have absorbed. Be sure to stir them up at the halfway mark.
Put back in the oven without a top and cook for an hour or an hour-and-a-half, until everything is tender and syrupy.
This post is part of the Porcine Revolution.