I bought two old bean pots from an antique store and a resale shop. Since I am now retired and there seems to be a lot of potlucks in our lives, I thought I needed to perfect a bean recipe. America's Test Kitchen has a quick way to soften the beans. Science has the Baking Soda magically softening the beans in the 20 minute brisk simmer. I can start these in the morning and take it to a noon potluck. I remember the first time I tried to make baked beans for my husband....turned out more like BBs in molasses! Now I am proud of my beans!
1Sort Beans and place in large pot. Cover with water, add Baking Soda and bring to a boil, reduce heat and continue at a healthy simmer for 20 minutes.
2Drain the beans, rinse beans and pot and set beans aside. Meanwhile, in same pot sauté salt pork until browned and crisp. Remove pork, add to beans. In same pot, add onion and sauté until translucent
3Return beans and pork to pot. Add 3 cups water, Brown sugar, molasses, Worcestershire, Dijon, vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and bring to a boil.
4Remove from heat, cover and place in a 350 degree oven. Bake 1 1/2 hours ( if your lid is not very tight, you may have to add a bit more water if it looks dry after an hour or so. ) Uncover and bake an additional 1/2 hour. Taste for seasonings. You may want to add a bit more dark brown sugar, mustard or vinegar, salt and pepper....depending on your family's preference.