New England-Style Baked Beans

New England-Style Baked BeansENLARGE IMAGECredit: Todd Colema

1 lb. dried navy beans, picked over and rinsed
1 medium yellow onion, ends trimmed, peeled, and left whole
4 whole cloves
8 oz. slab bacon or salt pork, trimmed and cut into 2″ x 14″ pieces
¼ cup plus 2 tbsp. maple syrup
¼ cup unsulfured molasses
2 tsp. dry mustard powder
½ cup ketchup
1 tbsp. cider vinegar
1 tbsp. dark rum
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


1. Bring the beans and 10 cups of water to a boil in a 4-qt. saucepan over high heat, and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover the saucepan with a lid, and let the beans sit for 1½ hours. (This “quick soak” produces effects similar to those achieved by soaking the beans in water overnight.) Drain the beans in a colander, and discard the cooking liquid.

2. Heat oven to 250°. Stud the onion with the cloves and place in a 4-qt. Dutch oven along with the beans, bacon, maple syrup, molasses, dry mustard, and 3 cups boiling water; stir to combine. Cover pot with a lid, and place in the oven; cook, lifting the lid and stirring occasionally, for 3 hours. Stir in ketchup and vinegar. Cover with lid again, and return to the oven; cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender and the liquid has reduced to a thick glaze, about 3 hours more.

3. Stir in rum; season with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls; serve with brown bread, if you like.


Recipe from: Saveur #125