Baked Beans

This a rich recipe that contains either salt pork or bacon or you can leave either of those or both out. Because both of those have been cured they pose much less of a contamination risk than raw meat. The beans and salt pork can be safely processed in a pressure canner.

This recipe makes about 6 pint jars or 3 qts.

6 cups small white beans
1 1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 cups firm packed dark brown sugar
2/3 c. molasses
1/4 c. light corn syrup
1 t. dry mustard
1/3 lb salt pork or thick sliced bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces

Rinse beans well in cool water and drain well. Place beans in a 6-8 qt pan and add 3 qts water. Cover pan and let beans soak for 12 hours or overnight. Drain beans and return them to pan. Add 3 qts of water and the salt. Over medium heat, bring it to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, stir it occasionally, for one hour. Take off heat and drain the beans, reserving 2 cups of cooking liquid.

In a large bowl or pan, mix the brown sugar, molasses, corn syrup, and mustard. Stir in the reserved liquid. Add salt pork or bacon. Add the beans and stir till evenly combined. Pour mixture into a 4-6 qt greased bean pot or deep casserole or baking pan. Cover with a lid or foil.

Bake beans at 250F for 6-8 hours. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. If needed, add more water to keep beans from drying out. Remove pan from oven.

Ladle hot beans into hot sterile jars, leave 1 inch headspace. Using a bubble freer or plastic knife, remove any trapped air bubbles. If necessary, add more beans to maintain the 1 inch headspace. Wipe jar rims and threads with clean damp cloth. Cover with hot lids; apply the rings.

Process pint jars for 80 minutes, qts for 95 minutes at 11 pounds of pressure in a dial gauge canner or at 10 pounds pressure in a weighted-gauge pressure canner.