Baked Beans

My son loves baked beans. Usually I buy the store brand of baked beans and doctor it up with ketchup, mustard, Worchestershire, garlic salt, vinegar and brown sugar. But making my own would be very Martha. There is a Lucinda recipe for it in the August issue of Martha Stewart Living, so I gave it a try.

This is not for the faint of heart my friends. It was a two day extravaganza of beans and I am not recovered yet.

The instructions say to cover the dried beans with water and boil, then simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Ok. No problem. On another place on the page (not in the actual recipe) it says you can make the beans up to 2 days ahead by refrigerating them after this step. It does not say you HAVE to.

baked beansI went to the next step – cooking onions, bacon, and garlic, then adding beans and vinegar and BBQ sauce (which I made myself). Add water and boil. Simmer for 2 1/2 hours. After 5 hours of this, I still had pretty hard, nasty beans. I must have added at least 4 more cups of water than the recipe said. Finally, I gave up, added some more water and stuck it in the fridge for 24 hours. I took it out and heated it up the next day and they still were not soft enough. I cooked this another 3 hours, adding more water as I went until finally, finally, finally, it was edible. I still wasn’t happy with it. I thought some of the beans were still a bit tough to the tooth. And let me tell you, by the time we sat down to dinner with this, I didn’t want any because I had taste-tested it so many times along the way that I was sick of it!

My son liked it though. Mr. MarthaAndMe said they were “ok”. I wanted to put my head on the table and weep at that – 2 days of tending to these beans and all it got was an ok. My advice? Buy the canned beans and doctor them up yourself. This was ridiculous.

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4 Responses to Baked Beans

  1. Sassy says:

    Cook’s Illustrated recommends adding some baking soda to beans when cooking them. It helps them soften faster. As little as 1/8 of a teaspoon will do the job. I add this amount to any recipe using dried beans and I’ve always had success. No more hard beans.

  2. Brenda says:

    Buy a small pressure cooker – will solve your bean problems

  3. marthaandme says:

    Good answer. Not suggested in the recipe though – how did they think this would work?

  4. marthaandme says:

    Thanks! Great suggestion.

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