Home-canned Boston Baked Beans

We are trying to use up things in the freezer to make more room for some expected smoked pork — hams and bacon. The call that it’s ready is going to come any second now and we don’t have room for it.

I had a huge ham hock that I decided to use up, as well as some home-grown Jacob’s Cattle beans from three years ago.

I started with this recipe for Boston Baked Beans, but of course I am unable to follow a recipe. We like what came out, so I’m going to document it for later. (Not that I’ll follow it then, either, most likely, but it could happen!)

4 pounds dried beans (1 Jacob’s Cattle, 1 pound pink, 1 pound black, 1 pound pinto)
3 and 1/2 lb fresh ham hock, cut into pieces
4 large onions, sliced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 large carrots, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon Horseradish mustard
1 tablespoon dried mustard
1 tablespoon dried garlic
1 cup molasses
1 cup maple syrup

Soak the beans overnight, drain.

Into a large chili pot, layer the diced ham hock, some of each vegetable, then a layer of soaked beans.

In another pot, combine the remaining ingredients and heat until the sugar has dissolved.

Pour the liquid on top of the beans. I had almost enough to cover the beans and topped it up with boiling water. I also left the bone in with the beans to help give the broth more depth and flavor while it cooked.

Bake for 7 hours at 250 degrees. Check about half way through the process, and add water to cover if necessary. It was for me, but just a bit. Don’t stir the beans, or they’ll get mushy.

Taste at 6 or so hours. If the beans are almost done, it’s time to stop. Mine were still pretty crunchy, so I left it for another hour and then pulled it out of the oven.

I ladled the beans with liquid into quart jars, making sure to add enough liquid to cover the beans, leaving a one inch space at the top. We used the Tattler reusable lids for most of them, but then ran out of the small size, so used disposable for those. I do enjoy the pings they make!

Pressure canned at 70 minutes, 12 pounds of pressure.

We got 8 quarts and enough left over for a few meals now. I put the pot back into the oven for another hour to finish cooking the beans for the stuff we’ll eat now.

I sure do like having a full cupboard.

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