It’s time for some truly authentic Yankee cooking!
I’m proud to share my favorite Yankee recipes–starting with these amazing Durgin-Park Boston Baked Beans!
These are so simple to make and very inexpensive, too! Perfect for our Yankee Traditions video series just beginning on the “Miss Rita To The Rescue!” YouTube channel!
If you’ve ever heard of Boston, you may have heard it being referred to as “Beantown”.
And–although most people from around here never refer to Boston as Beantown (really…never ever!)–baked beans have been a staple at Bostonian tables for generations. And for good reason! Beans are nutritious, hearty and inexpensive to prepare. With a pound of dried navy beans, a chunk of salt pork, some molasses and a few other simple ingredients, you could appease a large family on a cold Saturday night–the traditional bean eating night.
I’m not old enough to remember when Saturdays were regular bean cooking days, but I do recall preparing baked beans for special occasions–such as Easter–and, of course, seeing beans offered as a side dish on every New England menu, including at Durgin Park. Baked beans are especially good as a compliment to scrambled eggs or served for with boiled hot dogs for supper. Yes, hot dogs are boiled or steamed in New England and served on open topped buns, too! We’re weird, I know…
If you’re not from Boston you might be wondering what exactly Durgin-Park is. I’m sure you’ve figured out it isn’t a park at all, but a restaurant. A very old New England restaurant.
Actually Durgin-Park was the second oldest restaurant in Boston–second only to the Union Oyster House, which has been serving food since the days of the Revolution! And, up until a few months ago, Durgin-Park served up old New England favorites–lobsters, chowder, Indian Pudding, Yankee Pot Roast and, of course, baked beans to the masses for more than two centuries!
Back in the 80s, Durgin Park distributed their famous recipes as a souvenir, which is where I got my recipe. I don’t dare change anything about the original recipe for fear of being accused of making improvements on an already perfect thing. My only adjustment is to use my new mini Dutch Oven instead of a traditional (but messy) bean pot.
One pound of dried navy beans, soaked overnight
1/2 tsp of baking soda (for the parboiling)
1/2 pound of salt pork (or thick cut bacon if not available), cut into chunks
1/3 cup dark molasses
1 tsp dried mustard
1/2 of a medium sized onion, peeled but not cut
1 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of pepper
4 tablespoons of sugar (I prefer brown sugar, but the recipe does not specify)
3 cups of hot water to start plus more as beans cook
Begin preparing the beans the night before by soaking them in water. You may need to add more water halfway through the soaking process as the beans rehydrate, so check them before you go to sleep. Don’t try to use canned beans for this recipe or to rush the soaking and parboiling process, because we Yankees will know if you did!
In the morning, rinse the beans and boil them with the baking soda for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse the parboiled beans and set aside.
Dice the salt pork into chunks and peel and halve the onion (do not chop). Put half of the salt port in the bottom of the pot along with the onion.
Add the beans to the pot and cover with remaining salt pork.
Combine salt, pepper, dry mustard, molasses and sugar with 3 cups of hot water and mix thoroughly. Pour mixture over the beans. Cover your pot.
Bake your covered Dutch Oven (or bean pot, if you have one) in a preheated 325 degree oven for six hours, checking about every hour or so to see if the beans need water
Top off the beans as needed throughout the baking process
Remove the onion and salt pork bits (or not…up to you!) and serve!
As you probably already know, I was born and raised in one of the best cities in the world–Boston, Massachusetts!!!
With the exception of a few years away for school, Massachusetts has been my lifelong home and I’ve always, always loved it here! I simply wouldn’t live anywhere else!
I’m very proud of Massachusetts’ history of being the “birthplace of the Revolution” and I have always cheered on our progressive leaders as we continue to be first in so many things.
And, of course, I have passed my love and pride for the Commonwealth on to MO! Recently MO’s teacher told us that he and his classmates were invited by the new state rep to tour the capital building and take a tour of the State House. Doesn’t that sound like a lot of fun??
And, well….OF COURSE, I needed to figure out a way to put my Cricut spin on the upcoming tour, didn’t I?
Thankfully I knew that the good folks over at Cricut have recently added a ton of new state-related design files to Cricut Access.
In fact, I think every one of the US states are now represented! Thank you, Anna Rose!
So here are just a few of the wonderful images I found for Massachusetts:
Aren’t they adorable?? And lots of great choices, too! 🙂
I’m digging the mandala-like designs, which will be perfect as a car decal. And I’ve decided that the simple line drawings with the capital in the banner will make the perfect T-shirt decoration for MO’s special State House Tour Day, too.
I’ll be sure to post pictures of MO’s classmates at the State House after their field trip!
Which state are you from? Do you love it as much as I love Massachusetts?
If so, now is the time to show the world!!!
And, don’t forget now…ALL of these lovely state-based images are available for FREE to all Cricut Access subscribers…so this might be the perfect time for you to consider a subscription! (If you decide to order, please use my affiliate link, which is here: https://www.shareasale.com/u.cfm?d=327204&m=51766&u=1089398)
Please note: This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you click on one of my links and buy something I will receive a small commission from your purchase. Thank you for using my links as this is how I support myself and keep MO in pickles and Ted E. Bear in chew toys–they both are insatiable!
But seriously….I do so appreciate your continued support!
Remember if your order exceeds $50 and you use my code MISSRITA1 and link, you will receive an extra 10% off and free shipping on most items! My code will *not* work for Access Subscriptions or machines (anything that plugs in).
Beef & Barley Soup–if you don’t count chowder–is quite possibly the quintessential New England soup.
But nowadays finding a good version can be difficult to find, except maybe in a can. And even the best canned soups are still too salty and tinny for regular consumption.
So, I set about making a healthy and easy Beef & Barley that would rival the ease of warming up a canned version and I think I’ve done it. Of course, I used my trusty Dutch Oven, but I also used my Instant Pot to make ready the beef.
I started with a small piece of meat that was intended as a small roast. I got it on sale for less than $4 and it weighed just under two pounds. Because I froze it when I bought it, I first defrosted it and then cooked it with a small amount of beef broth and some salt and pepper in the Instant Pot on the beef setting. Couldn’t be easier, but note that you could use a portion of roast beef leftovers if you have that.
Once the beef was cooked and had rested, I chopped it up in small pieces and tossed it into the Dutch Oven along with some tomato sauce, a box of beef broth and the drippings from the Instant Pot. I added a can of peas and carrots, but you could use fresh or frozen. It’s up to you, of course.
The Barley was cooked separately from a dried bag of the grain. If you’re wondering where you find dried Barley, check the dried beans section of your grocery store. Once cooked, add the Barley to the soup toward the end of the cooking to keep it from getting too soggy.
Small oyster crackers are the only thing you need to complete this wonderful, homey meal, which is perfect for a cold late Autumn supper.
One small points:
This soup is exceptionally economical. I figured the entire recipe cost me under ten dollars for ten servings!
Small cut of roast beef, prepared either in an oven or Instant Pot, about 1 1/2 pounds
Box of beef broth
Small can of tomato sauce
Can of diced carrots and peas
About two cups of water
Salt and pepper to taste
Barley, 1 cup, dried and cooked separately with 2 1/2 cups water and salt to taste
Cook beef in Instant Pot with a small amount of beef broth and allow to rest OR use precooked cut of roast beef
Slice and then dice the cooked beef and place in Dutch Oven with any pan drippings from the cooking of the beef
Add tomato sauce, beef broth and water to the Dutch Oven and bring contents to boil on the stovetop
Reduce heat to allow the soup to slowly boil off some of the added water and thicken, about 1 hour
Meanwhile in a separate pan, bring the dried Barley to boil with 2 1/2 cups water and salt to taste; cook for 45 minutes
After cooking off some of the liquid, add the can of peas and carrots and the Barley
Allow soup to simmer for an hour or more so that all the flavors meld together