Molasses Baked Beans

Side Dish

Recipe courtesy of Screen Doors and Sweet Tea by Martha Hall Foose

Serves 12

  • 1 lb dried great northern beans
  • 4 strips bacon, thick-cut
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 cup beer, a pale ale preferred
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • salt to taste

Note: 1 pound of canned beans can be substituted for dry beans, see adjustment to cooking time below.

Molasses Baked Beans

Molasses Baked Beans

Click image to enlarge


In large stock pot over high heat, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Add the beans and let cook for 5 minutes. Spoon any scum from surface of water. Remove from heat and let soak for 2 hours.
Drain the beans and discard liquid.

In a large oven proof skillet over low heat, render the fat from the bacon, cooking until the bacon is just beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Remove the bacon to drain on paper towels, reserving the fat in the pan. When the bacon is cool chop it and set aside.

Preheat oven to 250˚F.
Put the pan with bacon drippings over medium-low heat and add the chopped onion. Cook until golden, about 4 minutes. Add the beer and scrape up the brown bits from the pan. Add 2 cups water, the molasses, brown sugar, mustard, paprika, reserved bacon and drained beans. Cover and bake for 3 hours, stirring every hour.

Add the relish and bake, uncovered, for another 30 minutes or until the beans are tender and the sauce has thickened.

Season to taste with salt and serve.

Note: If cooking liquid seems a little low, add more beer, preferably a pale ale.
One pound of canned beans can be substituted. Rinse and drain beans thoroughly and reduce cooking time to 1½ hours.


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