Baked Beans are a staple of New England cooking - in fact Boston gets its nickname “Beantown” from a long history of making baked beans. Take a drive through some of the small towns in New Hampshire, Maine or Vermont and you’ll undoubtedly find signs for a “Bean Supper” at a local town hall or church. It's a fundraising ritual almost as old as the country, started by women's auxiliary groups during the years after the Revolution, as a way to raise money to pay the local minister. Boston Baked Beans are always slowly baked with molasses and a few other simple ingredients and traditionally served with Brown Bread (see recipe from Yankee magazine here- http://bit.ly/uExc9O )
4 ounces salt pork, trimmed of rind and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 ounces bacon (2 slices), cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1/3 cup mild molasses
¼ cup maple syrup
1 ½ tablespoons Gulden’s spicy brown mustard
1 pound dried small white beans (about 2 cups), rinsed and picked over
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon mild molasses
Ground black pepper
1. Adjust rack to lower-middle position; heat oven to 300 degrees. Add salt pork and bacon to 8-quart Dutch oven; cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and most fat is rendered, about 7 minutes.
2. Add onion and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 8 minutes. Add 1/3 cup molasses, maple syrup, mustard, beans, 1 ¼ teaspoons salt, and 9 cups water; increase heat to medium-high and bring to boil.
3. Cover pot and set in oven. Bake until beans are tender, about 4 hours, stirring once after 2 hours.
4. Remove lid and continue to bake until liquid has thickened to syrupy consistency, 1 to 1 1/2 hours longer.
5. Remove beans from oven; stir in remaining tablespoon of molasses, vinegar, and additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve.