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American Boston baked beans

One of the most famous dishes in the United States, Boston Baked Beans predates the Revolution. Traditionally, it used to be baked in the oven with the week's bread.

ingredients

6 - 8 servings
1 kg (2 lb) 5 1/3 cups Dried haricot (dried white), pea or kidney beans, soaked overnight in cold water and drained
2 tsp Salt
1 Large onion
225 g (8 oz) Salt pork, soaked in cold water for 3 hours, drained and thickly sliced
75 g (3 oz) 1/2 cup Brown sugar
75 ml (3 fl oz) 6 Tbs Molasses or dark treacle
1 Tbs Dry mustard
1 tsp Black pepper

method

1. Put the beans in a large saucepan and add enough water just to cover. Stir in half the salt and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, half-cover the pan and simmer for 30 minutes. Drain the beans and discard the liquid.

2. Preheat the oven to very cool 130°C (Gas Mark 1/2, 250°F.)

3. Put the onion on the bottom of a large flameproof casserole. Add a layer of beans, then arrange a layer of salt pork slices over the beans. Add the remaining beans, topped by the remaining salt pork.

4. Mix the sugar, molasses or treacle, mustaid, black pepper and remaining salt together and spoon over the mixture. Add enough boiling water to cover. Cover and put the casserole in the oven. Bake for 5 hours, adding boiling water from time to time so that the beans remain covered.

5. Remove the cover and bake the beans for a further 45 minutes, or until a slight crust has formed on top. Serve at once.

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