Boston Baked Beans
Boston Baked Beans; a Boston classic - made the real way with molasses, fresh beans, slow cooked.
Serves: 4 as a main
  • 1pound (about 2 cups) fresh white beans (such as Cranberry, Navy or Great Northern)*
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ pound salt pork or bacon, cut into 1 in. pieces
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • ⅓ cup blackstrap molasses
  • ⅓ cup real maple syrup
  • 4 tablespoon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon all spice
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tsp concentrated low-sodium vegetable stock (or 3 cups low sodium vegetable broth)**
  • salt to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
  2. Bring a pot of water to boil with the bay leaf. Simmer fresh beans until just tender, about 30 minutes (note: do not salt! This toughens the beans). Once the beans are tender, drain and reserve cooking liquid for later.
  3. Place a cast-iron pot (or other pot that can be placed in the oven) over medium heat and add the bacon and onions until the onions soften, about 10 minutes. Stir in the molasses, maple syrup, mustard, spices and pepper until well combined and let simmer for a minute.
  4. Mix 3 cups of the reserved bean liquid with concentrated low sodium vegetable stock according to stock ratio instructions.
  5. Add beans to bacon and onions and then add vegetable and bean broth until the beans are just covered (you may not need all three cups). Stir and cover. Place the cast-iron pot in the oven for 6-8 hours, or until the beans are tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. Check and stir every couple of hours. If the beans are drying out, add some liquid, but I don't usually find myself needing to do this. For the last hour of cooking, I removed the top to further brown and caramelize the sauce.
*This recipe can be made with 1 pound of dried beans. If using dried beans, soak beans overnight with a bay leaf in enough water to submerge them completely, then proceed with recipe without cooking the beans.

**I like a lot of flavor, so I mixed 3 cups of the bean liquid (with bay leaf flavor) with 3 tsp of low-sodium vegetable broth concentrate - I use Vege-Base. You can also discard the bean liquid and just use 3 cups of low-sodium vegetable broth or 3 cups of plain water.
Recipe by Our Four Forks at