Simple Stovetop Baked Beans Recipe
Some classic recipes never go out of style, but just go on being rediscovered by generation after generation of happy cooks and eaters. Baked beans is one of these: a super-nutritious, delicious food that makes us think of home.
The great Helen Nearing, pioneer of the joys of a simple lifestyle, didn’t believe you had to bake beans all day for them to be perfect. Here is her couldn’t-be-simpler recipe for a stovetop baked bean dish that tastes so good your family will think you slaved over them for hours. Baked beans and wholegrain bread makes a complete-protein meal; with a salad alongside, you have a homey, warming, satisfying supper that conjures up all the hearthside pleasures of fall, and it costs almost nothing to make.
2 cups dried beans, soaked overnight
2 onions, chopped
2 tablespoons molasses
1 teaspoon dried mustard
1 cup tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1. Drain soaking water from beans and place them in a heavy pot. Cover them with boiling water and cook until tender, about 2 hours. (Helen used the top of her wood stove!)
2. When beans are tender, saute onions in a saucepan with a little olive oil until golden, then add to beans along with other ingredients and simmer for another hour.
Serves 4 to 6.
Adapted from Simple Food for the Good Life, by Helen Nearing (Chelsea Green, 1980).