Nana Gerschefski’s Meriden Style Baked Beans
1 Cup Dry Navy Beans-picked through for small stones, rinsed, soaked overnight
¾ Cup Onions-medium diced
2 Oz. Salt Pork-rinsed, outer rind discarded, diced (can substitute diced raw bacon) 2 ½ Cups Water (more water may be needed later, see bottom of instructions)
¼ Cup Molasses
¼ Cup Brown Sugar
1 tsp. Dry Mustard
½ tsp. Black Pepper
· Preheat oven to 300ºf. Drain the beans in a colander, and place in a heavy, ovenproof pot or casserole. Add the onions and salt pork, stir to combine. In a separate bowl, whisk together the water, molasses, brown sugar, mustard and black pepper. Pour over the bean mixture.
· Cover tightly with a lid and or foil. Place on middle rack of the oven and cook slowly for 5 hours. Carefully remove the lid, be careful of the steam. Check beans for tenderness. If the beans are still slightly firm and the liquid is absorbed, add another cup of water, cover and bake another hour or so. If the beans are cooked and the liquid is too runny for your liking, place pot on top of the stove and boil for a few minutes without a lid to thicken sauce. If using a casserole dish, do not cook on top of the stove, simply remove the lid and bake in the oven another hour to allow the sauce to reduce and thicken. Do not stir too vigorously as to keep the beans whole. Serve with your favorite grilled foods and enjoy!