Boston “Baked” Beans
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Boston “Baked” Beans
This dish has much of the flavor of Boston baked beans, but without the 3 hours of simmering. The beans are precooked in the pressure cooker for 15 minutes before the skin-hardening molasses, tomato paste and mustard are added.
Since dried beans absorb varying degrees of water and the cooking liquid thickens considerably upon standing, you may either need to thin this mixture with a bit of water or drain off some of the liquid at the end of cooking. Make this adjustment before adding the vinegar and correcting the seasonings.
Try adding some fried sausages or grilled frankfurters to the beans for a hearty entree. Adapted from “Cooking Under Pressure” (20th Anniversary Edition) by Lorna J. Sass (William Morrow Cookbooks, 2009).
11 / 2 cups dried navy beans, picked over and rinsed
2 bay leaves
11 / 2 quarts (6 cups) water
2 tablespoons oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 / 4 cup molasses
1 / 4 cup Dijon-style mustard
1 / 4 cup tomato paste
4 whole cloves
One 3-inch stick cinnamon, broken in two
1 to 3 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Place the beans, bay leaves, water and 1 tablespoon of the oil in the cooker. Lock the lid in place and over high heat bring to high pressure. Adjust the heat to maintain high pressure and cook for 15 minutes. Reduce the pressure by placing the cooker under cold running water. Remove the lid, tilting it away from you to allow steam to escape. Drain the beans, reserving the liquid. Return the beans and 2 cups of liquid to the cooker. Discard any remaining liquid or reserve it for making your next soup.
Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a skillet. Saute the onions and garlic until the onions begin to brown around the edges, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the molasses, mustard, tomato paste, cloves and cinnamon. Pour the mixture on top of the beans. Do not stir.
Lock the lid in place and over high heat return to high pressure. Adjust the heat to maintain high pressure and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Allow the pressure to come down naturally, about 15 minutes. Remove the lid, tilting away from you to allow steam to escape. If the beans are not tender, replace (but do not lock) the lid and simmer until done.
Before serving, remove the cloves, bay leaves and cinnamon sticks. The mixture will thicken on standing, but if you wish to thicken it immediately, puree some of the beans and stir the puree back in. Stir in the vinegar and salt.