Classic Baked Franks & BeansPhoto Credit : Adam DeTour
This from-scratch recipe for classic franks & beans will have you seeing the dish in a new light. Serve with brown bread for authenticity.
In addition to being New England comfort food at its most comforting, it’s also a handy way to utilize staples such as dried beans, onions, and tomato paste. No hot dogs on hand? Any sausages will work here — or make a vegetarian version with just the hearty beans and zesty spices.
1 pound dried yellow-eye beans or other white beans such as great Northern or navy
3 bay leaves
6 slices thick bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons molasses
1-1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 hot dogs, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
Place the beans and bay leaves in a 3- to 4-quart pot and cover with about 4 inches of cold water. Bring to a boil; then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer gently until the beans are tender but still hold their shape, about 1 hour 15 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the beans to a bowl, reserving the cooking liquid. Discard the bay leaves.
Preheat your oven to 275°. Set a 4- to 5-quart pot over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until golden and crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a plate, leaving the drippings in the pot.
Add the onion and garlic to the pot, and cook, stirring, until translucent, about 6 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for a minute or two until fragrant; then remove the pot from the heat. Stir in the maple syrup, molasses, mustard, and salt. Add the beans and bacon and stir gently to combine. Pour the beans’ cooking liquid in, just to the level of the beans, about 1.5 cups (add a little water if necessary). Cover with a lid.
Bake until the beans are tender, at least 4 hours or up to 6 hours. Stir in the hot-dog slices for the last hour of cooking.