These sticky pork Boston Baked Beans are just the ticket for Bonfire night.
I love it when the nights start to cut in and there is the lovely sweet smell of autumn in the air. I can’t wait to get the log fire going and look forward to cosy evenings. I have always loved Halloween and Bonfire night -maybe because my mother always made an effort to celebrate them and I have never forgotten about them. Halloween involved dressing up and anxiously searching the sky for witches and Bonfire night was always at home with a bonfire in the garden and my mums food. My ‘food memories’ are still clear in my mind; almost impossible to eat toffee apples, homemade tomato soup in a mug, sticky parkin (well, I am from Yorkshire), sausages and jacket potatoes cooked in the fire. I think I recall even doing this the day after bonfire night, the embers were so hot! I thought it the most exciting night of the year. I think I may have blocked out all the rainy nights when we couldn’t do them but I do recall tears… Organised firework displays have never done anything for me at all -perhaps because the food was as important as the fireworks.
These Boston Baked Beans are the sort of thing I would cook nowadays for either a Halloween or Bonfire party but my recipe is perfect for comfort eating at any time. So batten down the hatches and give it a go. This dish won’t spoil if it is left and it’s even better the next day.
BOSTON BAKED BEANS
400g dried white beans-butter beans-or haricot beans
2 teasp mustard powder
1 tbsp. black treacle
Level tbsp. sugar
3 tbsp. tomato puree
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 onion, peeled and sliced
Couple of bay leaves
2 slices belly pork, thinly cut
- Put the dried beans in a jug, cover with water and leave overnight.
- Drain the beans and reserve the liquid. Make it up to approx. 570ml if necessary.
- Mix the mustard powder, treacle, sugar and tomato puree with a little of the reserved water. Add the chopped garlic and onions. Pour over the beans, add the bay leaves and then put them in a large casserole type dish with a tight fitting lid. I used a shallow one this worked better because of the greater surface area rather than putting them into a deeper pan. Add more water to almost cover the beans-this may not be necessary.
- Get your butcher to cut you thin slices of belly pork and ask him/her to cut it into small pieces. The slices are usually too chunky and the rind is hard to cut easily. Push these into the bean mix leaving the rind above the surface.
- Put the lid back on-if it is loose you can put foil over the top and then put the lid back on to make a better seal.
- Cook slowly at approx. 120C, Gas ½ for at least 4 hrs. Check half way through to see if it is getting too dry and add a little water if necessary. For the last hour, take the lid off, pull the pork slices to the top so that they are above the surface and cook until these are crisp.
- Serve hot with cheesy toasts, or as they come.