One of the first foodie places in Boston that called our name was Durgin Park, the famous home of the Boston Baked Beans. Let me tell you, they were delicious! The original location is the best, but we were happy to find that there is a location at the airport as well, which meant we were able to grab one last bowl before flying home. Being back at home doesn’t mean you can’t still have that Boston taste though! This recipe comes from the cookbook of the oldest restaurant in Boston (more on that later) and is very reliable! These ALMOST taste like the real deal!
One thing to know about making Boston Baked Beans is that you need to soak the beans either over night or at least all day. THEN they take two hours to bake. This is pretty important to remember because I have definitely bought these beans to make, then promptly forgot those two items and thought I could just throw them together with dinner….NOPE! Finally, I had to just put them on to soak while I was making dinner so at least they’d be ready the next night!
One more thing before getting to the good stuff, the recipe…this recipe calls for salt pork. I want to be totally honest here. I had no idea what to do with that instruction. I have since done extensive research & discovered that its a soft, white creamy rendered fat that you can buy in the jar in the ethnic foods section, or you can get from your local butcher. I was both confused on how to work with that and a little uncomfortable with the concept of it once I saw it. SO, I used bacon instead. I figured that it was a really close second. I followed all of the exact same instructions, except that I substituted chopped up bacon instead. I’ll add both to the recipe & let you decide. If you try either, let me know your thoughts in the comments!
- 1 pound dried white pea or Navy beans
- 3 ounces diced salt pork (or slices chopped bacon)
- 1 cup diced onion
- 2 cups tomato juice
- 1 cup molasses
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon mustard
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- Cover beans with 2 quarts cold water and soak 12 hours or overnight. Drain.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large stockpot, cook salt pork (or bacon) over medium heat until rendered.
- Add the onion and cook until tender. Add tomato juice, molasses, sugar, mustard, and garlic powder. Mix well.
- Add beans and enough water so that the beans are covered by about about 1 inch of liquid.
- Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and place in the oven, covered.
- Bake for 2 hours, stirring occasionally, or until beans are soft & sauce has thickened.
- Add more liquid if beans begin to dry out.