For a potluck or picnic, you can’t beat this classic side that starts with a pound of dried beans. Molasses and maple syrup give it a slight sweetness. —Pat Medeiros, Tiverton, Rhode Island
- 1 pound dried great northern beans
- 1/2 pound thick-sliced bacon strips, chopped
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups ketchup
- 1-1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
- 1/3 cup molasses
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
- Sort beans and rinse with cold water. Place beans in a Dutch oven; add enough water to cover by 2 in. Bring to a boil; boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; cover and let stand for 1 hour or until beans are softened.
- Drain and rinse beans, discarding liquid. Return beans to Dutch oven; add 6 cups water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 hour or until beans are almost tender.
- In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove to paper towels with a slotted spoon; drain, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings. Saute onions in drippings until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the ketchup, brown sugar, molasses, syrup, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper.
- Drain beans, reserving cooking liquid; place in an ungreased 3-qt. baking dish. Stir in onion mixture and bacon. Cover and bake at 300° for 2-1/2 hours or until beans are tender and reach desired consistency, stirring every 30 minutes. Add reserved cooking liquid as needed. Yield: 12 servings (2/3 cup each).
Originally published as New England Baked Beans in Taste of Home April/May 2010, p47
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