This is currently my favorite summer bean recipe. It is perfect for barbecues. I like doubling this recipe, then freezing it in dinner-size portions.
Always add acidic ingredients (tomatoes, vinegar, etc.) after beans are soft. Otherwise the beans will not continue to soften.
Boston Baked Beans
1 lb. dry red beans
2 tab. molasses
3 tab. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 onion, chopped
4 slices cooked bacon, 1 cup cooked diced ham, or cooked ham bone (optional)
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 tsp liquid smoke (optional)
1. Sort beans to remove foreign material (like rocks). Rinse beans with water, and drain. Cover beans with water, and let soak 6-10 hours. Drain water. Rinse with water and drain.
2. Add molasses, brown sugar, salt, onion, bacon or ham, and dry mustard. Stir. Add enough water to cover about 2 inches over beans, or to mostly cover ham bone. Simmer for 2 hours, or until beans are soft, adding additional water as necessary.
3. If you are using a ham bone, take the meat off the bone, being careful to remove all bone and other non-food material from the beans. Add tomato sauce and ketchup, and simmer for another 30 minutes or so, adding water if necessary. Be sure to not add too much water at this point, because you want it to be a good consistency when done.
4. Season to taste with salt, pepper, prepared mustard, and/or molasses.