The perfect baked bean recipe

July 27, 2015

No visit to the sugar shack would be complete without this delicious dish that Canadians love and tourist are eager to try. At home, cooked slowly on a Saturday and warmed the next day, baked beans are perfect for Sunday brunch.

The perfect baked bean recipe

Baked beans

Makes 6 servings


  • 500 g (1 lb) dried peas or navy beans, sorted and rinsed
  • 75 ml (1/3 c) molasses
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) dry mustard
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) salt
  • 2 ml (1/2 tsp) ground black pepper
  • 125 g (1/4 lb) salt pork
  • 1 medium onion, peeled


  1. Place the beans in a four-litre (four-quart) Dutch oven and add enough water to cover plus five centimetres (two inches). Bring the water to a boil and boil two minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat, cover and let stand one hour.
  2. Add more water to cover the beans and return the pan to the heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the beans are tender, about one hour, adding more water as necessary to keep the beans covered.
  3. Drain the beans, reserving the cooking liquid. Place the drained beans in a two-litre (two-quart) bean pot or casserole dish.
  4. In a bowl, combine the molasses, mustard, salt and pepper, and pour the mixture over the beans.
  5. Cut the pork into 1.25-cm (1/2-in.) slices up to but not through the rind. Add the pork and the onion to the bean mixture, pressing them down until they are buried. If needed, add the reserved cooking liquid until the beans are completely covered.
  6. Place the bean pot or casserole in a 120°C (250°F) oven and cook, covered, five hours, adding additional reserved cooking liquid or water to prevent the bean mixture from drying out.
  7. Remove the cover for the last hour of cooking time.

Helpful Hint
Canned beans don't always hold their shape and are often very high in salt. Always rinse canned beans under cold running water to reduce the sodium content by as much as 40 per cent before using them.

This warm and comforting dish goes well beside so many meals, but can also be enjoyed on its own as a special treat! Enjoy the delicious taste of the sugar shack in your own kitchen this weekend.


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