How to Baked Beans from Scratch

 

While isolating during the Coronavirus Pandemic, I stayed with my sister.  I presumed she had good survival food in the form of baked beans.  I was wrong.  Instead, she had pinto beans.  I knew with this all hope was not lost.

A Makeshift Recipe:

I poured contents from the can in the pot, added a pad of butter, three generous squirts of barbecue sauce, a scoop of bacon fat, chopped red onion and two squirts of maple syrup.   Then the beans were slowly cooked on a low flame for 30 minutes.  It turned out well but ideally I’d bake it. – Crystal Johnson, Multi Cultural Cooking Network Editor

Let’s check out a more formal preparation for making the beans.

History of Baked Beans

Baked beans is a dish traditionally containing white beans which are parboiled and then baked at a low temperature for a lengthy period of time in some sort of sauce. This is the usual preparation of the dish in the United States when not using canned beans. In the United Kingdom the dish is sometimes baked, but usually stewed in a sauce. Canned baked beans are not baked, but are cooked through a steam process.[3]

Baked beans has its origins in Native American cuisine, and the dish is made from beans indigenous to the Americas. The dish was adopted and adapted by English colonists in New England in the 17th century and, through the aid of published 19th century cookbooks, the dish spread to other regions of the United States and into Canada. Today in the New England region of the United States a variety of indigenous legumes are still used when preparing this dish in restaurants or in the home, such as Jacob’s Cattle, Soldier Beans, Yellow-Eyed Beans, and Navy Beans (also known as Native Beans).[4]

Originally baked beans were sweetened with maple syrup by Native Americans, a tradition some recipes still follow, but some English colonists modified the sweetening agent to brown sugar beginning in the 17th century. In the 18th century the convention of using American-made molasses as a sweetening agent became increasingly popular in order to avoid British taxes on sugar. American Boston baked beans use a sauce prepared with molasses and salt pork, the popularity of which has led to the city’s being nicknamed “Beantown”.[5] Today baked beans is commonly served throughout the United States alongside barbecue food of various kinds and at picnics. Beans in a brown sugar, sugar, or corn syrup sauce (sometimes with and sometimes without a tomato base) are widely available throughout the USA.