Boston Baked Beans

Baked beans and the Wild West

Baked beans and cowboys are sort of linked in the popular imagination. And we all know who to blame for that…

In fact beans were a real staple of frontier life in the 19th and early 20th centuries. They were easy to grow, high in protein and “stuck to the ribs”..

This recipe is for a real old recipe that used the molasses left over from the rum trade in Boston and surrounding districts.

Deadwood might be nigh on a thousand miles from Boston but we reckon this tasty treat could have made the journey.


Have a go and let us know what you think.


600g haricot beans soaked overnight and drained

salt and pepper

800g belly pork

2 tablespoons black treacle or molasses

2 teaspoons dry mustard

2 onions. finely chopped


Put the beans into a pan with fresh cold water to cover and a little salt and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer gently for I hour.

Drain and reserve the liquid.

Score the rind of the pork, and cut the pork into two pieces.

Place one piece at the bottom of a large casserole. Add the beans and bury the remainder of the pork in the beans so that the rind just shows. Stir the treacle or molasses, mustard, onions and pepper into the reserved liquid from the beans and pour over the beans in the casserole. Add more water if necessary to cover the beans. Cover the casserole and cook in a cool oven (150°C or Gas Mark 2) for 3 hours.

Check the casserole from time to time to make sure the beans are still quite moist, and if necessary add a little extra boiling water.

Remove the lid from the casserole, bring the pork to the surface and cook uncovered for I hour to crisp the rind of the pork.

Serves 4 to 6