Sunday, January 07, 2007

King of the Bean

I've just cooked up the last of these beautiful 'Magpie' beans. This is a classic East coast Saturday supper dish 'Fundy Baked Beans' - guaranteed to put hair on your chest. I haven't been back to Canada since last spring, so had to substitute molasses for the maple syrup. Soak 4 cups beans overnight in 12 cups water. Boil next day with a bay leaf and an onion pierced with 4 or 5 cloves. If you've grown them yourself this won't take long (30 minutes or so), otherwise a couple of hours. As soon as the skin lifts off when you blow on it they're ready. Line the bottom of an ovenproof casserole pot with about a pound of smoked bacon. Put the beans on top. Get a fresh onion, roll it in 1 teaspoon dry mustard and bury it in the beans. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons coarse salt. Pour 1 cup of maple syrup over top and add about 6 cups of the reserved (I should have mentioned that before you drained them) bean cooking water. Cover and put in a slow oven (gas mark 3/ 325° F) for about 5 hours. Keep checking to see that it doesn't dry out.
Here are the other beans I grew this year -


Jeremy Cherfas said...

Nice sounding recipe, but why do you use the baking soda? To soften the beans? It isn't a good idea, vitamin-wise, and really isn't necessary.

I want to try this some time soon, so thanks.

MissHathorn said...

Well, thanks for that bit of info, I just followed the recipe, but normally I don't use it in cooking beans. I guess it helps to hurry the softening but now that I know that it destroys vitamins I won't continue.

Jeremy Cherfas said...

My pleasure