Before summer’s end, I’ve been loving all the baked beans I can find. Perhaps it’s because there has been a new barbecue restaurant that opened up in my town, or because I attended a picnic a few weeks ago where the cook made delicious burnt ends and beans, but I was excited to try making my own from scratch. I found a recipe that looked great in the Mile End CookbookMile End Cookbook, and except for the fact that I used regular bacon, I followed the recipe and loved it. And, the flavor definitely deepened the next day. If I need to make beans for another occasion, I’ll go back to this recipe without a doubt.
Maple Baked Beans
1 1/2 c diced lamb bacon
3 c diced onion
1 lb white navy beans, soaked overnight and drained
5 c chicken stock
2 tsp kosher salt
1 sprig thyme
1 sprig rosemary
1 fresh bay leaf
1 c maple syrup
freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
In a heavy ovenproof pot or Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat, stirring frequently, until it just starts to brown. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it’s translucent. Then add the beans, chicken stock, salt, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf and bring to a simmer.
Cover the pot and transfer to the oven. Bake until the beans are soft but not breaking apart, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Add the maple syrup and season with salt and pepper to taste; stir. Let the beans sit for at least 30 minutes — or even better, in the refrigerator overnight — before serving. The beans will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator.