New This Month

Classic Boston Baked Beans

  • Servings: 10

Photography: David E. Steele


  • 2 pounds dried pinto or navy beans
  • 1 large onion (about 1 pound), peeled, halved and sliced
  • 4 canned plum tomatoes, seeded and crushed
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 12 whole cloves
  • 1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 cup unsulphured molasses
  • 12 ounces salt pork, sliced


  1. Soak beans in cold water to cover overnight in a large bowl. Drain in a colander.

  2. Heat oven to 300 degrees. Arrange onions in the bottom of a bean pot or Dutch oven. Top, working in order, beginning with tomatoes, and continuing with bay leaves, dry mustard, cloves, brown sugar, and salt and pepper. Add soaked beans and pour over molasses. Top evenly with salt pork. Add 5 cups water and cover.

  3. Transfer to oven and bake, without stirring, until the beans are tender and the liquid has thickened, about 6 hours. Check the beans every 45 minutes, adding hot water, if necessary, to keep beans slightly soupy at all times. Remove from oven, and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, if necessary, before serving.

Reviews Add a comment

  • MS11193588
    3 APR, 2014
    I loved this recipe, and I invested in a bean pot because I wanted to make these as authentically as I could. I made only a couple of very minor tweaks-- I used fresh Roma tomatoes and for the last hour, I baked the beans with the lid off. The fresh tomatoes worked out great (nothing against canned) and the last hour of baking yielded a thick and rich sauce. I loved the cloves, but I would reduce those by 25%-- the cloves ALMOST dominated the flavor, but just on the edge. Terrific & fool-proof!