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Boston baked beans

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Is it me or do most baked bean recipes pale when compared with a certain brand in a green tin? This recipe works because it is familiar enough but does not slavishly follow the experts.

As in many cassoulet type recipes, the rinds are cooked and then discarded. This allows all of the flavour to be absorbed into the dish.

The beans will continue to cook and absorb liquid once the casserole is taken out of the oven. Bear this in mind and err on the liquid side when you take the dish out of the oven.

500 g white haricot beans (navy or Yankee beans in the US)
150 g piece of belly pork (with rind)
150 g piece of smoked bacon (with rind)
Large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato puree
2 tablespoons black treacle
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Bay leaf
1 teaspoon English mustard powder
Salt and black pepper


Cover the beans in cold water and soak overnight (some beans will need less soaking but overnight is safest)
Drain the beans, cover with cold water, bring to the boil and simmer for about 1 hour or until tender
Drain the beans and reserve the cooking liquid
Brown the pork, bacon, onion and garlic in a large, oven proof casserole
Mix the rest of the ingredients with 600 ml of the cooking liquids from the beans (add more water if needed)
Add the beans to the pork and pour the cooking liquid over the pork and beans
Ensure that the pork rinds are showing above the beans and liquid
Cover the casserole and cook in a very low oven (150?C, gas mark 2) for 2 - 2? hours
Check the beans, if they are becoming dry add more water
Remove the lid for the last 30 minutes of cooking
When the beans are ready take the meat out, remove the rinds, slice the meat into thick slices and return to the pot

Suggested Sausages

Substantial enough to be eaten by itself or in the classic sausage, beans and mash combo. The beans and pork already give this dish a real protein kick so only a few sausages!

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