New England Side
Boston Baked Beans
Can't get more authentic New England than this. Open a can or try your hand at this terrific homemade version.
Prep: place beans in a large pot covered with water. Use either soaking method (see sidebar) to prepare them for them for recipe. Drain beans and save the liquid.
Assemble: Preheat oven to 300. In a deep casserole, add half the beans and half the salt pork or bacon. Combine the remaining half of the beans with the other ingredients and add to the casserole. Keep last pieces of salt pork for the top. Pour in the bean liquid.
Bake: cover and cook for 6 hours. Or use a crock-pot, cooking on low for 8 hours. Serve with Boston Brown Bread.
Tips & Glossary
Bouquet Garni: (boo-kay gar-nee), a bundle of herbs tied together with string or wrapped in cheese cloth square. Usual herbs include parsley, thyme, and bay leaf, and peppercorns. They release their flavor during long cooking. Used to flavor soups and stews and removed before serving.
Ginger: dried ground ginger is far more potent than freshly grated from the root. Sweet dessert recipes call for ground powder. If you wish to use freshly grated ginger, use 6 times the amount of ground called for in the recipe.
Nutmeg: Use small whole nuts and store them, tightly covered, in a dry dark area. Grate what you need using the smallest grating edge or grind in a food processor. What a difference from store bought nutmeg!
Piecrust: Store-bought versions are heaven-sent for those who have neither the time nor the know-how for good homemade piecrust. But for those willing to make their own, the payoff is great. See our recipe for Noel's Pie Crust.
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