WRITTEN ON May 21st, 2009 BY Meredith AND STORED IN Beans

Boston holds a special place in my heart. I mean really, it’s the birthplace of our nation. It’s the home of the BC Eagles. Chowdah abounds. And it’s about 45 minutes from Cape Ann, my favorite place on Earth. Oh, and one more thing. Ever heard of Boston baked beans? Yes my friends, that cook out staple has its roots in colonial Boston, where molasses were king and the fiber intake was good. Try these beans on for size and let me know what you think. They use the BBQ sauce from earlier this week (which already has molasses in it). Leftovers? Try spreading them onto whole wheat toast for a healthy mid-day snack. Gobble them up and feel proud. Bush’s has nothin’ on you.

Beantown bakes

Beantown bakes

Boston Baked Beans (serves 4-6)
2 cans navy beans, drained and rinsed
3 slices thick cut smoked bacon, cubed
½ sweet Vidalia onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
½ cup homemade BBQ sauce
¼ cup dark brown sugar
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350. In a dutch oven, cook bacon and onions until bacon is crisp and onions are soft and slightly colored. Add garlic at the last minute, sauté until fragrant (about 30 seconds to 1 minute). Remove from heat, stir in remaining ingredients. Bake, covered, in oven about 30 minutes until bubbly, remove cover, bake about 20 minutes more (make sure to remove bay leaf before serving).

* A quick note here: You could of course use dried Navy beans in place of canned. Should you decide to do that, rinse and pick through 2 cups beans, soak overnight covered in cold water. Drain, add beans to dutch oven with all ingredients other than the sauce. Add 4 cups water, bring to a boil and then cover, bake in oven for 2 hours. Uncover, add sauce, and bake for another hour and a half. These recipes are geared towards home cooks who don’t have tons of time on their hands, and obviously cooking dried beans from scratch takes a lot more effort and time. I’m all for it, so wanted to give you the option, just in case. Either way, they’re both great and you are sure to love them!

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