Maple Baked Beans
|Large lima beans||12 Ounce (1 1/2 Cups, Heaped)|
|Kidney beans||12 Ounce (1 1/2 Cups, Heaped)|
|Smoked bacon ends/Salt pork||1⁄2 Pound|
|Bay leaves||2 Small|
|Onions/Leeks||3 , chopped|
|Maple syrup||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|Tomato sauce/4 tablespoons tomato paste plus 3/4 cup bean water||7 1⁄2 Ounce|
Soak beans separately overnight in 1 quart of water for each batch.
In the morning, add enough fresh water to cover the beans, and sprinkle each with 1 teaspoon salt.
Bring to a boil separately, and cover.
Turn heat low, and cook until beans are barely tender,about 40 minutes for limas and 1 1/2 hours for kidney beans.Drain beans,and reserve liquid.
Drop bacon chunks into a deep Dutch oven or heavy covered casserole.
Add beans, bay leaves, onions, syrup and tomato sauce.
Pour in enough bean liquid to just cover the beans.
Bake covered at 275 Ã‚Â°F. 5Ã¢â‚¬â€6 hours or until beans are very tender.
Keep beans moist with more bean liquid if needed during the cooking.
Uncover for the last hour if there seems to be too much juice.
Taste for seasoning, and add more salt, pepper, a few drops of maple flavoring or a couple spoons of brown sugar.
For a crowd, double the recipe, and make 2 days ahead of time.
The flavor improves with reheating.
Note: Canadian Indians baked beans slowly in clay pots heaped with hot wood ashes, flavoring them with bear meat (which tastes like strong pork).
For a similar hearty flavor, bury 3 smoked pork hocks in the mixture 3 hours before beans are tender.