Before now I had never made baked beans. Which is hard to believe because I absolutely LOVE them. Everything about them is just divine. Thing is, I know to make truly delicious baked beans you have to plan ahead and have a lot of time to cook them and I am more of a "start to finish in under an hour" kind of girl.
I decided to give them a go because baked beans from a can just are NOT the same and I had a wicked craving for them. The actual making of the beans is super simple - like, no skill involved at all, but the result is so worth the time it takes to cook them.
Also, this is a great way to use up the ham bone from holiday dinners!
1 lb dry navy beans
(NOTE - I used "small white beans" as our grocery store doesn't carry navy beans)
6 or more cups of water
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup molasses
2 Tbsp prepared spicy mustard
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp vinegar
1 bay leaf
1 meaty ham bone
Place the beans in a pot and pour in enough water to cover them by about 2 inches. Cover the pot and soak overnight. The next day, drain the beans and cover with the same amount of fresh water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for an hour. Drain the beans and reserve the liquid.
Preheat the oven to 300.
Place the beans in a large, oven safe pot (or Dutch oven). Add in the rest of the ingredients - except for the bay leaf and ham bone.
Give it a gentle stir to combine. Then add in 2 cups of reserved cooking liquid, the bay leaf, and the ham bone. Make sure to tuck the ham bone down in the beans.
Cover and bake at 300 degrees for 3 hours. Give the beans a stir and add in extra cooking liquid if needed. Cook another 2 to 3 hours, adding more cooking liquid if the beans are looking too dry.
At the end of cooking time, remove the bay leaf and discard it.
Remove the ham bone and pull off any good meat, you may need to chop the bigger pieces.
Return the ham to the beans.
Taste beans and season with more salt and pepper, if desired.
These are delicious hot out of the oven but also reheat very well in the microwave or on the stove top. They make a great accompaniment to almost any meal, BBQ, even breakfast!
They also make a lovely meal on their own with some garlic toast on the side.
They are very hearty and filling.
Now that I have made them once, I will without question be making them again. Having the oven on for so long is perfect on cold, blustery days so making these all winter long is brilliant.