As always following a visit Back East, I’m feeling nostalgic and a wee bit homesick. Our timing for arrival at my parents’ place was a bit off, so we missed out on a feed of my Mom’s baked beans and homemade bread. I’ve so many fond memories of autumn Saturday nights that feature a plate of beans with brown bread, and family around the table.
Beans are always a hit with my kids, so I made some for supper with leftovers for the freezer!
My Mom primarily uses Jacob’s Cattle beans in her baked beans, but sometimes uses French horticultural, soldier beans, or yellow-eye beans. The majority of these varieties are only available by mail order here in Ontario. The only one of these you are likely to find is yellow-eye — they can be purchased at Bulk Barn. You can easily substitute navy beans. I’ve also used romano and cranberry beans.
4 cups Jacob’s Cattle beans
2 cups onion, finely chopped
2 cups honey
1.5 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp mustard powder
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup fancy molasses
Soak beans overnight. Drain, add fresh water and parboil until beans are soft to the bite. Drain again and transfer beans to covered casserole dish. Add just enough water to cover the beans. Preheat oven to 350F.
Add chopped onion, honey, ginger, mustard, salt and pepper. Stir well and cover. Bake for 1 hour and then add molasses. If thicker beans are preferred, mash beans slightly with potato masher. Stir well and bake for 1 hour longer.