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Mom's Baked Beans

  • 6 cups navy beans
  • Water
  • 1 1/2 pounds dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 heaping teaspoon Beau Monde seasoning
  • 1 1/2 pounds side pork or bacon, rind removed and cut crosswise into pieces

Pick over beans, discarding debris and dirty beans. (A few splits are OK.)

Wash beans in cold water three times.

Put beans in 6-quart (1 1/2-gallon) pot.

Cover with lukewarm water; let sit for 1 hour for this summer's crop (2 hours for last summer's). As beans soak and swell, replenish water, just until top of beans are under water.

Bring beans to a boil on top of range. (Watch carefully; they love to boil over.) Reduce heat to simmer and cook 1 hour, or until beans are soft.

Add salt, brown sugar, black pepper, Beau Monde and chopped meat, stirring into the beans.

Simmer beans on top of range until soft, about 2 hours, adding water if necessary.

Put beans in ovenproof dish. (We used two 9-by-13-inch glass pans.) The beans can be frozen at this stage or baked immediately. If freezing, cover well with aluminum foil.

To bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 1 hour if frozen or 45 minutes if thawed.

The top should brown and the beans should become less soupy.

Each pan serves 12 as a side dish.

Ann Garner, Vassar, Mich.

Sunday, December 08, 2002

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