Baked Beans: Date Added: 13 Nov 2009 Ingredients:

1 lb. Navy beans (454 g)
1 medium cooking onion, peeled and left whole
1 bay leaf
1 large sprig of thyme
1 lb. smoked pork hock (454 g)
1/2 cup maple syrup (125 ml)
1/2 cup molasses (125 ml)
1 tbsp mustard powder (15 ml)
1 cup passata (250 ml)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Cooking Instructions:

Soak the beans in a lot of water overnight to soften. Preheat an oven to 300°F. Drain the beans, discarding the soaking liquid. Place the beans in a large stainless steel pot and cover with cold water.

Bring the beans to the boil over high heat and skim any scum which rises to the surface. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the beans until they begin to soften 30 to 45 minutes.

Drain the beans and pour into a Dutch oven or heavy ceramic casserole. Bury the whole onion, bay leaf, thyme and smoked pork hock in the beans. In a bowl, combine the maple syrup, molasses, mustard and passata and whisk together.

Pour this mixture over the beans. Do not salt the beans at this point as this will toughen the beans. Add enough water to the beans to barely cover and put the lid on the casserole. Place the beans into a preheated oven and cook for 4 to 5 hours.

Check the beans during cooking to ensure that they are not drying out and if necessary add more water. Remove the lid in the final hour of cooking to allow the sauce to thicken.

When done the beans should be meltingly soft. Remove the beans from the oven and discard the onion, thyme and bay leaf. Remove the pork hock, shred the meat and discard the fat and bones. Return the meat to the beans and season to taste with salt and pepper prior to serving.

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