franks and beans

I can’t remember how I got it in my head to make franks and beans. I thought I had mentioned it in a blog post, but I can’t find it. Was it a comment on someone else’s blog? I thought I just idly mentioned it somewhere, and then I started thinking “yum…pork and beans…”  (Ah, Elizabeth found it for me – in my post about red beans and rice.)

Of course, god forbid I take the easy way out and buy some baked beans, add hot dogs and brown sugar and bake them for a while, like I used to do when I was a kid. (Of course, we used the cheese-filled hot dogs then. Ew!) No, I have to go all out and make beans from scratch. Glutton for punishment.

But I couldn’t find any recipes for hot dogs and beans with the beans made from scratch, so I made a Boston baked beans recipe and added cut up hot dogs to the onions while they sautéed.

I figured that if I cut the hot dogs on a diagonal, they were more elegant and I could pretend that I wasn’t eating incredibly low-class food.

But if I cut them straight across, they were more bite-sized. Ah well.

I messed up the recipe just a bit. I was cutting it in half, but I used a saucepan less than half the area of the pan called for for a full recipe, so the sauce didn’t thicken as much as I would have liked. You can see in the picture how liquidy the beans are. Also, when adding hot dogs, I might skip the salt pork next time and maybe increase the bacon by an ounce or two. Other than those minor glitches, though, this was a fun way to revisit childhood!

Boston Baked Beans (from Cooks Illustrated January 2003)

Serves 4 to 6

CI note: The beans can be made ahead. After cooking, cool them to room temperature and refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Bridget note: I added 2 hot dogs, cut into bite-sized pieces, to the sautéing onions.

4 ounces salt pork, trimmed of rind and cut into ½-inch cubes
2 ounces bacon (2 slices), cut into ¼ -inch pieces
1 medium onion, chopped fine
½ cup mild molasses
1 tablespoon mild molasses
1½ tablespoons brown mustard
1 pound dried small white beans (about 2 cups), rinsed and picked over
Table salt
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
Ground black pepper

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position; heat oven to 300 degrees. Add salt pork and bacon to 8-quart Dutch oven; cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and most fat is rendered, about 7 minutes. Add onion and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 8 minutes. Add ½ cup molasses, mustard, beans, 1¼ teaspoons salt, and 9 cups water; increase heat to medium-high and bring to boil. Cover pot and set in oven. Bake until beans are tender, about 4 hours, stirring once after 2 hours. Remove lid and continue to bake until liquid has thickened to syrupy consistency, 1 to 1½ hours longer. Remove beans from oven; stir in remaining tablespoon of molasses, vinegar, and additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve.


  1. Looks great!

    I love how you cut the hot dogs on a slant, lol.

  2. I have to admit I giggled and was totally reminded of “Something About Mary” with your title. 🙂 I’m not a big boston baked beans gal, but your post is looking pretty dang good!

  3. I totally can’t think of franks and beans without thinking of Something About Mary either – the visual and everything.

  4. I’m sitting here cracking up thinking about making hot dogs fancier by cutting them on the diagonal….ha! Thats great!

  5. I think I have a crockpot recipe for beans and weinies that starts with dry beans. I seem to remember having some problems. I always have problems with dried beans (except refried beans – I can make those just fine). If I find out, I’ll send it to you.

  6. I agree w/ the other posts… you cracked me up with your idea of cutting them on a bias to be more fancy. This does sound like a really yummy trip down memory lane, so I don’t judge you 😉

  7. looks like we were both thinking about beans this week 🙂 yum!

  8. Debra Darceu says:

    If you cut the hot dogs diagonally you get more cooking surface and they sop up the taste of the sauce more. I use Hickory Farms “hot and sweet” mustard for a little hotter/sweeter/tangier flavor, with a few hot pepper flakes added in. And frankly (no pun intended) I would use 2 large cans of Bush’s baked beans with bacon and onion flavor and doctor BIG TIME. But, 2 hot dogs for a recipe serving 4-6 people? I would be adding an entire package of 8 hot dogs to the recipe. But I wouldn’t be using any salt pork nor bacon, And would be using much less molasses. I do not eat this often. Once a year or less But every once in a while the need to re-live your childhood and the feeling of eating Mom’s comfort food (cheap but it fed 4 kids) overcomes common sense.

  9. Debra Darcey says:

    Addition: Your pictures make me HUNGRY. I’m going to go check my pantry for baked beans.


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