Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Sweet, savoury or spicy, baked beans satisfy

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Beatrice Desjarlais of Ste. Anne had written that she had disappointing results with the baked bean recipes she had tried, and had requested readers' help. Thanks to everyone who sent in recipes. While there were similarities between some, each one was different. They all looked good, and I wish I could feature them all, but a sampling appears today. Baked beans are enjoyable year round, and at this time of year make great barbecue fare as a side dish.

Thanks to Carolynne Smith, who sent in an old family recipe from Nova Scotia, to Myrna Tole for the old-fashioned baked beans recipe, and to Irene Trethart of Beausejour for the Canadian-style baked beans recipe. Thanks also to Sylvia Chartrand, Marie Waldron, Le Beau Jakobson, Joy Derhak, Linda Goodbrandson, Therese Dumesnil, Velma Slater of Stonewall, Grace Bauch of Moosehorn, and Linda Snider of Glenboro.

In this week's mail is a request from Chris Katrick, who writes that her all-time favourite dish was Eaton's macaroni and cheese, and wonders if anyone might have the recipe.

I didn't receive any doughnut recipes for Joseph Aidoo, so another request goes out for a tried and true recipe for yeast-risen deep-fried doughnuts.

If you can help with a recipe request, have your own request, or a favourite recipe you'd like to share, send an e-mail to recipeswap@freepress.mb.ca, fax it to 697-7412, or write to Recipe Swap, c/o Darlene Henderson, Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6. Please include your first and last name, address and telephone number. Recipes may not appear right away due to limited space.

Baked beans -- Nova Scotia family recipe

500 ml (2 cups) navy or pea beans

1 small peeled onion

175 ml (3/4 cup) lightly packed brown sugar

15 ml (1 tbsp) salt

7 ml (1 1/2 tsp) dry mustard

2 ml (1/2 tsp) black pepper

60 ml (1/4 cup) molasses

60 ml (1/4 cup) maple syrup

Wash beans. Soak overnight in 3 l (12 cups) of water.

Drain and cover with fresh water. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered until skin splits when blown upon. Drain and place beans in large casserole. Bury onion in centre of beans. Mix remaining ingredients together and pour over beans. Add sufficient boiling water to cover beans. Bake in 250 F oven for 8 hours, adding a small amount of boiling water from time to time so beans do not become dry. Uncover for last 30 minutes of baking.

Old-fashioned baked beans

450 g (1 lb) dried white beans

1.5 l (6 cups) water

7 ml (1 1/2 tsp) dry mustard

1 ml (1/4 tsp) pepper

15 ml (1 tbsp) salt

2 large onions, sliced

60 ml (1/4 cup) brown sugar

60 ml (1/4 cup) corn syrup

30 ml (2 tbsp) sweet pickle juice or vinegar

1 ml (1/4 tsp) cinnamon

1 ml (1/4 tsp) cloves

125 ml (1/2 cup) ketchup or chili sauce

112 g (1/4 lb) sliced bacon

Wash beans and add water. Soak 8 hours or overnight.

Bring to a boil and boil while adding remaining ingredients, except bacon. Stir until blended and place in medium roaster. Lie bacon on top (can fry a bit first to get rid of some of some of the fat). Cover and bake at 250-300 F for 6 to 8 hours, stirring occasionally. Add liquid (water or tomato juice) while cooking to cover beans.

Baked beans Canadian-style

450 g (1 lb) dried navy beans

1 l (4 cups) water

10 ml (2 tsp) salt

225 g (1/2 lb) salt pork or bacon ends

60 ml (1/4 cup) maple syrup

60 ml (1/4 cup) molasses

30 ml (2 tbsp) brown sugar

1 large onion, chopped

5 ml (1 tsp) dry mustard

500 ml (2 cups) tomato juice

1 bay leaf

1/2 clove garlic

225 g (1/2 lb) sliced smoked garlic sausage (optional)

Wash beans and soak overnight in the water.

Next morning, bring to a boil and add the salt. Cover and simmer 1 hour. Drain and save liquid. Cut pork in thick slices and place in bottom of a 2- to 3-litre (quart) bean pot or heavy Dutch oven. Add beans. Mix remaining ingredients, except sausage, together and pour over the top. Stir lightly, then cover closely. Bake at 275 F for 3 hours. Uncover and stir in bean liquid. Cover and continue baking until beans are tender, about 2 to 3 hours (adding more tomato juice if necessary). Baking times may vary, so test occasionally. Optional: Add garlic sausage half way through baking. Makes 8 servings.

Taste Tester Notes: These are all good, with each one having a different taste twist.

The first recipe (from Nova Scotia) is sweeter, with the maple syrup coming through nicely, and has great flavour without any meat. Be sure to use real maple syrup. To simmer beans "until skin splits when blown upon" will take about 30 to 40 minutes (take a few out with a spoon to test).

The second recipe (old-fashioned) is tangier, and the small amount of cinnamon and cloves gives it a slightly spicy undertone. I reduced the salt to 5 ml (1 tsp).

The third recipe (Canadian-style) has more of a tomato sauce and uses salt pork. Salt pork is similar to bacon , but is not smoked. It can be quite salty, so you can rinse it well or scald it for a couple of minutes to remove some of the salt. You may also want to reduce the added salt in the recipe -- you can always taste later and add more. I found small packages of fairly lean salt pork in a large grocery store in the bacon section.

For measuring the beans, 450 g (1 lb) is equal to about 500 ml (2 cups). The beans are not refrigerated while soaking. When you boil them, a white foam will form that you can skim off. After the first couple of hours of baking, check the beans every hour or so to make sure they are not drying out on top, and add more liquid if they are or if the liquid is low.

The slow cooker is ideal for baked beans and some readers noted they sometimes use it instead of the oven. The baked beans and sauce can thicken when refrigerated, so you can add liquid as needed when reheating.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 11, 2008

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