Delicious Baked Beans & Cornbread
February 24, 2019
Some of my website articles are 12 years old now. I want to update my latest Baked Bean and Corn Bread cooking recipes. Being from New England, my favorite way to season and prepare dry beans is in the traditional Boston style with molasses. My favorite way to make Corn Bread is the simple hot water and freshly ground meal recipe. When using our Flint corn, be sure to allow the hot water to soak in for an hour or more to soften the corn meal if you plan to cook the corn bread quickly in a hot oven.
Here is the Bean recipe-
2 cups of dry beans or 1 pound by weight. Look carefully to see that each bean is sound and there is no foreign material to discard in with your dry beans. Soak in water over night. Cover the beans and have the water a couple inches above them so as they swell they will still be covered by the soaking water. Drain off the water once before heating. Use a cooking pot which has a straining cover to save on containers to wash later. Myself I prefer to pressure cook the beans, but they can also be boiled until they are as tender as you want them. Once you add the seasonings to slow cook baked beans, they will not get any softer. A pressure cooker should be at least 4 quarts for this recipe, or twice the volume of about 2 quarts for the soaked beans. If simply boiling the beans longer in a regular pot, a 3 quart size is big enough. I pressure cook for a full hour, and boiling in an ordinary pot much longer. You may like your beans firmer and cook them less. At this point the beans are cooked and ready to season any way you like or serve plain.
For my New England or Boston style beans mix 1/2 Teaspoon of ground Dry Ginger and 1 teaspoon of Dry Mustard well into 3/4 cup of Molasses. Chop or dice one medium onion and three strips of bacon. Layer 1/4 of the cooked beans in the slow cooking pot, then a layer of 1/3rd of the meat and onion. Continue layering and you will end up with beans on top. Pour the molasses and spices over the mixture and top off with enough of the cooking water so the beans are just barely covered in liquid. Slow cook this all day. A Crock pot or Slow Cooker as well as my old West Bend Electric Bean Pot all do this well. You could also bake in a low temperature or slow oven. If you had none of these ways to slowly cook, you could just season the beans in the cooking pot and simmer on top of very low heat to meld the flavors together. It would be easy to burn the bottom once the molasses is mixed in, so you may need a trivet under the cooking pot.
Here is the Corn Bread recipe-
There is no simpler way to make Corn Bread than just add Hot Water to Corn Meal. I like the water boiling hot, and pour enough into the ground corn and stir to a consistency of a thick batter or a thin dough. It should pour slowly, but not form a ball like bread dough. Pay attention here because you may decide later you want your Corn Bread moister or drier next time. Some recipes call for oil in the batter. I put the oil into the cooking pan. Castiron is my favorite for this recipe. It should be preheated but not long enough to burn the cooking oil or grease you add just before the batter. By far freshly ground corn meal makes a much more flavorfull Corn Bread. When using Flint corn be sure to let the batter sit for an hour or more for the water to soak into the Corn Meal before baking in a hot oven around 400 degrees or more. Corn Bread can also be baked in a 1 quart or smaller Crock Pot or Slow Cooker which takes hours so no need for soaking. To brown in a slow cooker, I use butter to coat the ceramic pot which would burn in a hot oven.