"MY AUNT baked her beans in a old earthenware crock in the wood stove. She'd stir them periodically with a big wooden spoon. Each time she opened the oven door, the aroma seemed richer and richer!"
- 2 cups dried navy beans
- 8 cups cold water
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1/2 cup dark molasses
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 pound salt pork, cut up
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
- 1/2 cup finely chopped green pepper
- Rinse beans; place in a Dutch oven with cold water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; cover and let stand for 1 hour. (Or, omit boiling and soak beans in water overnight.) Add 1/2 teaspoon salt to beans and soaking water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, for 1 hour.
- Drain, reserving cooking liquid. Combine the brown sugar, mustard, molasses, pepper and remaining salt. Stir in 2 cups reserved cooking liquid; add to beans with salt pork, onion, celery and green pepper. Spoon into 2-1/2-qt. baking dish.
- Cover and bake at 325° for 2-1/2 hours or until beans reach desired thickness, stirring occasionally. Add more cooking liquid if necessary. Yield: 8-10 servings.
Originally published as Oven-Baked Beans in Reminisce May/June 1993, p47
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