We are still sticking to our goal of trying to live as frugal as possible. Our trip to the UK and our Baltic Cruise is all in the works and I am busily booking things and fleshing out our itinerary. In order to afford this trip we have to watch our spending to say the least. We had family visiting for the Easter weekend recently and I cooked a ham. A really large ham! So a large ham bone, hmm, good opportunity to haul out the bean pot and make baked beans. This makes a huge batch, you don’t get more frugal than that! Bonus is that they are super good for you as well. This ham turned out to be a really cost effective purchase. We had 9 people for Easter dinner, our daughter took a plateful home with her, we had 2 leftover meals with it, lots of sandwiches, and I made split pea and ham soup and now beans. So countless meals were had with this 1 ham. Love it!
The recipe I use is one my mother gave to me years and years ago. She has used it for at least 50 years. So definitely tried and true. She got it from a really old cookbook that she still has. We don’t know the writer of it as the covers are long gone.
The recipe calls for salt pork. I hardly ever make it with salt pork. I usually make them when I have a ham bone and some scrap pieces left over. My bean pot is very large so it is no problem to make this large batch with a ham bone. If your bean pot is smaller, you can cut this recipe in half and just use pieces of leftover ham instead of the bone.
- 2 lbs dried navy beas
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 1 tablespoon salt ( I omit this or drastically reduce it)
- 4 tsp cider vinegar
- 1 tsp prepared mustard
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup molasses
- ¼ cup ketchup
- fresh cracked black pepper to taste
- ¾ lb salt pork sliced ( if not using a ham bone and ham leftovers)
- Wash beans and put in a large pot.
- Add enough cold water to come 2 inches above the beans and soak overnight.
- Next morning, drain, then cover with fresh cold water, add baking soda and bring to a boil.
- Again drain, rinse and cover with fresh cold water and bring to the boil.
- Put the onion in the bottom of the bean pot. If using a ham bone, put it in the pot along with any scrap/leftover pieces of ham.
- Add the seasonings.
- Drain the beans and save the hot water in a bowl.
- Add the hot beans to the pot.
- Add reserved water to barely cover.
- If using salt pork, lay the strips on top.
- Bake in a slow oven 250F for 9 hours.
- You can check at the 5 or 6 hour mark and if they appear dry, add more boiling water.
- I have never had to do this.
- If using salt pork, take lid off and bake another hour to brown and crisp the pork.