As the name suggests, Boston baked beans originated in Boston, although they were often made using molasses instead of maple syrup, which is more commonly used today. The beans were cooked in large earthenware pots that would keep the beans warm overnight and throughout the next day.
Nothing beats full-of-flavour baked beans in a cheesy jaffle! The smoked ham hock makes for very tasty baked beans - or use up the last of a ham bone.
- butter, for spreading
- 4 slices wholemeal (wholewheat) bread
- 60 g (2 oz) cheddar cheese, grated
Boston baked beans
- 1 smoked ham hock, or the leftover bone from a Christmas ham (you will need about 100 g/3½ oz meat)
- 75 g (23/4 oz) dried borlotti beans soaked in cold water overnight
- 75 g (23/4 oz) cannellini beans, soaked in cold water overnight
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ onion, chopped
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 400 g (14 oz) tin diced tomatoes
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp tomato ketchup
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Start this recipe a day ahead.
Soaking time: Overnight
1. To make the Boston baked beans, remove any skin and visible fat from the ham.
2. Drain the beans and transfer to a heavy-based oven-proof saucepan with a lid. Add the ham hock or bone and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Drain the beans and the hock, reserving the cooking water.
3. Remove the meat from the hock and dice into small pieces. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
4. Return the pan to medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the onion and gently cook until soft and translucent. Stir in the maple syrup, tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, tomato ketchup and Dijon mustard. Return the beans and the chopped ham to the pan, along with 250 ml (8½ fl oz/1 cup) of the reserved cooking liquid. Stir well to combine.
5. Pop the lid on the saucepan and transfer to the bottom shelf of the oven. Cook for 1–1½ hours, checking occasionally and adding more cooking liquid if the mixture looks like it’s drying out. Season to taste.
6. Heat a jaffle maker and butter one side of the bread. Heap 2 tablespoons of beans and a handful of grated cheese onto the unbuttered side of 2 slices. Top with the remaining bread, butter side up, and transfer to the jaffle maker. Toast until nice and brown or cooked to your liking.
This recipe is from In Bread (Smith Street Books)