"Beans, beans! Good for your heart! The more you eat the more you..." Well, you may know how the rest of that jaunty rhythm goes. I thought it was hysterical when I was growing up, but conversely I never liked beans. I love all kinds of legumes now and have tried to make baked beans several times from different recipes without much luck. However, I now believe, ladies and gentlemen, that I have a winner! Baby and I were at Chelsea Market over the weekend, where among other things, there was a chili fest. Bark from Brooklyn had a table and they had recipe cards for sweet and sour onions, cole slaw--and baked beans. I set to it right away, soaking my beans overnight before letting them slowly simmer for 12 hours (I've included the shorter version too, below)! This recipe calls for marfax beans (which I had never heard of) or cranberry beans but good luck finding either of those--I used the red kidney variety instead for this wonderful pot of soupy beans. As the rest of the bean anthem draws to its fairly gaseous conclusion, "The more you eat, the better you feel. Eat beans at every meal!"
Bark Baked Beans
Adapted from Bark of Brooklyn
To soak the beans:
1 lb. marfax, cranberry or red kidney beans
1 gal. water
1 pc. smoked ham hock
1 1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
2 oz. molasses (4 T)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. grape seed oil
1/2 lb. smoked bacon, diced large
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Spanish onions, diced small
Pinch of salt
Soak beans with water and hock for at least 8 hours, or alternatively you can bring the water, beans and hock to a simmer, simmer for 5 minutes, then let sit for 1 hour.
Heat oven on low to about 250 degrees.
Cook bacon stove top in grape seed oil in an oven ready pan, then add garlic and onion and cook slowly. Add seasoning mixture and mix through. Drain the beans and add them to the bacon-seasoning mixture pan, reserving the bean soaking water. Add bean soaking water to cover by 2 inches, then add smoked pork.
Bring to a simmer and bake in oven for 8-12 hours until cooked through.
Alternately, precook the beans and add to the seasoning mix to reduce cooking time in oven. If beans are precooked, bake in oven for 1 hour.