Donna always dedicates some of Web of Life Farm’s acreage to the heirloom staples of southeastern Massachusetts, foods like dried Jacob’s Cattle beans. One taste will explain why these particular beans have been a baking favorite for centuries.

  • 1 pound Jacob’s Cattle beans
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup or molasses
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground dry mustard
  • 1/2 pound salt pork
  • 1 large onion peeled and stuck with 3 whole cloves

Rinse the beans, put them in a large pan, and cover them with plenty of cold water to soak overnight.

Next morning, preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Select a bean pot or covered casserole big enough to accommodate the beans. Mix the maple syrup, salt, and mustard into the soaked beans, and transfer half of them to the bean pot. Lay on the salt pork and onion, and then bury them under the remaining beans. Top up with boiling water if the beans are not completely covered.

Bake beans all day, covered. Check the beans several times during the day adding boiling water when needed to keep the beans submerged. Uncover for the last hour or so of cooking; when the sauce is thickened and the beans tender they are ready!

Serves 6-8.

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