1 lb. dry baking beans
1 tsp. dry or prepared mustard
6 tbsp. brown sugar (or 3 tbsp. brown sugar plus 3 tbsp. maple syrup or molasses)
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried onion or 1 small chopped onion
1 tsp dried garlic or 1 fresh clove
2 tsp dried herbs of choice (I use oregano and summer savory)
1 cup crushed or bottled tomatoes (with no sugar added)
1 grated carrot
*Optional - 1 pork chop or 3 strips bacon
Rinse and pick over beans to remove any debris. In a 3-quart saucepan, soak beans for 6 hours in 2 quarts of water with 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt.
Drain and rinse soaked beans.
Preheat oven to 300F.
In a bean crock or baking dish, put your pork chop or bacon in first, then add beans and all other ingredients.
Bake for 2-3 hours at 300F, until the beans are the desired softness. Check beans periodically; if they become dry, add a small amount of water.
Don’t worry about which type of beans to use. Normally a recipe would call for a variety like Jacob’s Cattle bean or Kidney bean, but it really doesn’t matter. Mix types if you like, or just use whatever you have on hand. In the recipe below, you can opt to add meat for flavour, but it is not necessary.
From the kitchen of Angela MacDougall