Boston Baked Beans {A Quicker Version!}

from melskitchencafe.com

*Note: Because liquid evaporates faster in the oven in heavy cast-iron Dutch ovens than in lighter pots, add an additional 1 1/2 cups water before cooking the beans in the oven if you are using a cast-iron Dutch oven.

*Serves 6

1 pound dried navy beans, about 2 cups, picked over and rinsed

1 tablespoon baking soda

6 ounces bacon, chopped

1 yellow onion, chopped fine

3 cups water

4 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon molasses

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon cider vinegar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, positioning an oven rack in the center. In a large Dutch oven or pot, bring 3 quarts water, beans and baking soda to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-high and simmer vigorously for 20 minutes. Drain the beans in a colander. Rinse the beans and set aside. Rinse the pot and return it to the stovetop.

Heat the pot over medium heat and add the chopped bacon, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 6-8 minutes. Add the onion and cook until the onion is softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Drain off bacon grease, if desired. Stir in the 3 cups water (use 4 1/2 cups if using a heavy cast-iron pot), rinsed beans, sugar, 1/4 cup molasses, Worcestershire, 1 tablespoon mustard, vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, transfer to the oven and cook until the beans are tender, about 1 1/2 hours.

Remove the lid and continue to bake the beans until they are completely tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon molasses and remaining 1 teaspoon mustard. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.