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
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.