WARREN, Maine — We get a peek at Lynn Archer at home in her kitchen today as she prepares traditional Baked Beans. Lynn is the owner and chef of The Brass Compass and Archer's on the Pier. Both restaurants are closed at the moment, but on Wednesdays, Lynn and her husband Walt are serving up chowder and mac & cheese from The Brass Compass and accepting donations for the AIO Food Pantry in Rockland -- check the Brass Compass Facebook page for more details.
Lynn Archer’s Baked Beans
Soak 2 lbs of beans (Lynn prefers State of Maine Soldier beans!) with an onion (either one small onion, or a big part of a larger onion, leave the ends of the onion on so the onion does not fall apart). Tuck the onion right down in the middle of the beans, cover the beans enough water to cover the beans plus two to three inches over the beans. (You’ll need a really big bowl to do this!)
Next morning, the beans will have doubled! Put the onion in the bottom of your crock pot. Scoop beans out of the water, and add to crock pot. Add about a 3-inch chunk of salt pork which has been sliced up to release all the flavor. Put the salt pork in the middle of your beans. Sprinkle ¾ cup white sugar, ¾ cup brown sugar, and one tsp salt in to the beans. Drizzle 2 TB molasses over the beans, then add about a TB of mustard (Lynn prefers Dijon). Stir this together and spread around a bit. Slowly, pour boiling water right over top of the mixture just until you can see the water come up right to the top of the beans. Give a little stir, cook on low in your crockpot for 5 hours, then switch to low, stirring 3 or 4 times during the day — cooking for a total of 8 hours. One way to tell if they are done is to blow on the beans! And the skins will split.
If you’d like to do your beans in a bean pot, you can cook them for 10 hours in a slow oven at about 225 degrees. And keep checking it – because you’ll need to add water throughout the day!
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