New England Beans Baked in Texas

I'll admit it out loud.  I tend to open up the can when it comes to baked beans.  Baked beans recipes tend to take all day and I NEVER think of taking up the oven for 3 hours just for a side dish.  A roast beef, yes.  A side a beans, no.

Well, I came across a delicious sounding recipe the other day from the book, Recipes from the Root Cellar. I had the time so I went for it.  The original recipe showed it would take 5 to 5 1/2 hours to get the beans cooked.  That's a little crazy, right?  I figured I could cook up the beans in my pressure cooker in 20 minutes and shave off 1 hour and 10 minutes of cooking time.  So, I did.

Pressure cookers are a Godsend for busy cooks or impatient ones.  Did you catch that video I made about cooking with a pressure cooker?  There's really nothing to it.

(Click here to go watch my video.)

Anyhoo. The baked beans turned out fantastically!  The whole family loved them.  This recipe makes a lot for a family of four.  I ended up putting away half in the freezer for later.

HERE'S WHAT I DID

Serves 8

  • 1 pound dried Northern Beans
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark unsulfured molasses
  • 1/2 cup brewed coffee, you can use the coffee grinder machine finder if you have one
  • 2 tablespoons coarse-grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke

Using a pressure cooker, cover the beans with 2-inches of water.  When the pressure regulator starts to chatter, cook for 20 minutes.  Cool the pressure cooker under running tap water until the air vent/cover lock drops and all the pressure is released from the cooker.  The beans should be just about tender.  Drain the beans, reserve the bean flavored liquid.

In a casserole dish or dutch oven, stir together the onion, brown sugar, molasses, hot coffee, mustard and liquid smoke, until the brown sugar is dissolved.  Toss in the cooked beans, then add just enough of the bean flavored liquid to cover the beans.  Keep any remaining liquid on hand just in case you need it later.

Cover and bake at 300ºF (no need to preheat)  for about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.  Check occasionally and add hot bean flavored liquid or water if necessary to keep the beans moist.  On the other hand, if the beans seem too soupy, remove the cover during the last 30 minutes.

These beans get better tasting when allowed to cool completely.  Reheat them slowly if you like your baked beans warm.