Vermont-Style Baked Beans

by Annie Copps
Wednesday, Nov 16, 2016




Ingredients

  • 1 pound yellow-eye beans
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 medium onion, peeled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 clove
  • 1/2 pound cob-smoked bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces (leave 6 strips whole)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup, or to taste
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons sweet mustard
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons cider vinegar, or to taste

 

Directions

Pick over beans, discard debris or anything that isn't a bean. Soak them overnight in fresh water to cover. Change the water, cover with fresh water and bring beans to a rapid boil for about 20 minutes or until tender. Add baking soda and stir well. Drain beans, reserving the liquid.


Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Peel the onion and pin bay leaf to it with the clove. Line the bottom of a 3-quart bean pot (or Dutch oven) 3 bacon strips. In a medium bowl, combine beans, bacon pieces, pepper, dry mustard, maple syrup, and 1 teaspoon salt. Spoon mixture into pot, nestling the onion in the center. Arrange the remaining bacon strips on top. Add enough of reserved bean liquid to cover the beans, and place the lid on top.

Cook beans 4 to 5 hours or until the beans are tender and flavorful. If the beans start to dry out, add additional liquid. Leave the pot uncovered the last half hour or so to allow the beans to brown. Just before serving, mix the sweet mustard and vinegar together and stir them into the beans. Adjust the seasoning, adding salt, maple syrup, mustard, or vinegar to taste: The beans should be a little sweet, a little spicy, and well-seasoned.

Yields: 6-8 Servings

About the Author

Annie B. Copps is a senior editor at Yankee Magazine. Annie oversees the magazine's food coverage, both as an editor and as a contributor of feature stories and columns.

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