Gram’s Baked Beans

My grandmother had baked beans every Saturday for as long as I can remember. She alternated from kidney beans to pea beans each week. She usually served them with a giant hamburger or a piece of steak cooked in her cast iron skillet. All of the kids had the job of sorting and checking the beans before soaking.



  1. 1 lb. navy beans or red kidney beans
  2. 1/2 lb. meaty salt pork, rinsed well and diced
  3. 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  4. 1/3 cup good quality molasses
  5. 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  6. 2 onions, cut into large chunks
  7. 3 cups boiling water
  8. 1 tsp kosher salt
  9. 1 tsp freshly ground pepper


  1. Look through the beans to eliminate any small rocks or cracked beans. Place in large pot or bowl and cover with cold water. Soak overnight.

  2. Drain beans in morning and preheat oven to 250. Place half the salt pork in bottom of large Dutch oven and cook until slightly browned. Add half the onion and cook till softened. Place beans and remaining salt pork and onion in pot.

  3. In a large bowl place remaining ingredients(except the salt) and pour boiling water over. Stir until sugar is dissolved and everything is well mixed. Pour mixture into bean pot.

  4. Place covered pot in oven for about 3-4 hours. Check on them and if beans are starting to be tender, add the salt. You can adjust mustard and molasses flavors at this point to your taste. If they appear dry, add more water. Cover and cook for another 2 hours. I usually take the cover off for the last hour.

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