Sunday, May 6, 2012

Pressure Cooked Boston Baked Beans

Beans, beans, good for the heart... well actually, they're good for the whole body:@) They are a great source of protein and fiber, economical, freeze well and just taste great! It's grilling season, is there a better side dish than baked beans for a BBQ? I've been testing recipes using dry beans for years now...
Pulled out my 4 quart electronic pressure cooker from QVC and it worked great! 
No presoaking necessary and you'll be eating dry navy beans from start to finish in an hour. 
A bonus, the electronic PC's don't heat up your house-gotta love that!

Boston Baked Beans-modified from Lorna Sass
1 1/2 C dry navy beans, sorted and rinsed
2 bay leaves
6 C water
2 Tblsp oil 2 slices bacon, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C molasses
1/4 C Dijon mustard-I had it so I used it, I think any mustard will do
1/4 C tomato paste
4 whole cloves-I used 2
1 cinnamon stick-I used 1/2 stick
1-3 tsp vinegar-I used 1 tsp
1 tsp salt
  1. Place beans, bay, water and 1 Tblsp oil in PC (I didn't add the oil), bring to high pressure for 15 minutes. Automatically release pressure, or place under running water if you have a stove top PC.
  2. Drain beans reserving 2 cups of liquid. Place beans and 2 cups liquid back into PC.
  3. In skillet, add 1 Tblsp oil or cook bacon till it begins to render fat, add onion and garlic and cook till they soften a little, about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add molasses, mustard, tomato paste and spices to skillet. I chose to add 1/2 tsp of kosher salt now.
  5. Pour this over the beans, do not stir. Don't know why we shouldn't, but I didn't.
  6. Return to high pressure for 10 minutes then automatically release pressure, or place under running water if you have a stove top PC. .
  7. Before serving remove bay, cloves and cinnamon. Stir in vinegar and salt (if using).
  8. The mixture will thicken as it stands (and it truly does), but you can mash some of the beans if you'd like to thicken it quicker.
  • This is the technique (from dry, 15 and 10 minutes) I've been looking for! It produced nice soft, mostly whole navy beans. 
  • I find the cinnamon, quite frankly... odd in this. I should have followed my instinct and not added it. 
  • The sauce even had that thick orange/brown color, without the spices these beans would be similar to a standard can of pork and beans.
  • You'll have about 2 Tblsp of tomato paste left over from a 6 oz can, just wrap in plastic wrap, freeze it and add to soup, pasta sauce, chili, etc.
  • I'll be using this technique to make beans again soon using the BBQ flavorings that I like. I look forward to posting that recipe, I feel I'm 1-2 batches away from a true keeper:@)
  • 7/17/12-Update: After living with these beans for a while (freezing serving sized bags for lunch and using this first batch up), I decided I really like the cloves, they are different and do add a nice flavor.
Have a happy day!

I'm joining:
On The Menu Monday


  1. This will be one for me to try. I agree with you on beans .... they are an excellent source of protein and fiber. Pinto beans (soup beans as we call them in Eastern Kentucky) have been a staple at my table my whole life. My husband prefers navy beans and luckily my kids also love black-eyed peas and black beans. I found some dried cranberry beans the other day and am going to be trying those out one day soon. Thanks for a great recipe!

  2. I have to show this to one of my daughters. I asked her why she was always asking for canned beans at the store and wouldn't eat the pinto beans I cooked that were in the fridge. She said she liked BBQ beans. I told her to put BBQ sauce on them. I am not a very good mom.
    Grocery List : NAVY beans.

  3. I love Baked to find my pressure cooker....

  4. My Mom makes baked beans that everyone requests for holidays, but her recipe called for canned beans. I've never tried them with dry beans, but I love cooking and eating navy beans. This recipe does indeed look really good. Thanks for dropping by my blog tonight....have a great week!

  5. I don't know why I don't like baked beans. I think it has to do with the molasses or brown sugar. Tonight we had large lima beans and cornbread for dinner. My 3 grandchildren and their parents came and ate with us. I told them we were having a "poor man's" dinner. But actually it isn't unhealthy.

  6. Lynn~ I love baked beans, no pressure cooker but I can pull out the crock pot! It's been in the 90's here and WAY too hot to turn on the oven~ makes me terrified about July/August temps!

  7. I definitely need a pressure cooker! I prefer dry beans, but it's the whole time element that always or at least usually makes me default to the canned variety.

  8. We love our Boston Baked Beans here in Massachusetts. They look yummy. Your recipe is so much faster with the pressure cooker. My mom bought me a Cooks Essential PC from QVC but it stopped working the 5th time I used it. I hope you have better luck with yours.

    1. Sorry to hear yours broke, I've had mine for over 2 years and it's still a work horse:@)

  9. Cool picture! The beans look delicious. I need to get one of those Pressure cookers one of these days.

  10. That is truly fast. We love beans of all sorts.

  11. I loved baked beans for grilling season - especially with a little bacon in them! I don't have a pressure cooker so I guess I'm stuck with the long way :(

  12. That's quicker than running to the store and buying a can of Van Kamps. :)

  13. I can't believe they are done in an hour. I haven't had my pressure cooker out in so long! I would probably need to get the gasket checked. These look so rich and delicious. Guess I will be trying to dig that out - now the question is where is it? I looked for my pizzookie pans the other day and can't find them anywhere!

  14. I was at a bridal shower last week and the question was asked, "What is you number one kitchen must have?" My answer..."my digital pressure cooker." Hands down I use it so much. I am so excited to try your baked bean recipe. It looks so good and my family loves to down a pot at every summer meal. Thanks for a great new recipe to me.

  15. Lynn, I am keeping this recipe until I get a pressure cooker! I really really want one! Your beans look so yummy! And look at all the time a pressure cooker saves.
    Thanks for being a constant supporter of ON THE MENU MONDAY!

  16. Thank you for reminding me just how much we enjoy Baked Beans. I don't have a pressure cooker, but I think I could do this in my crockpot, even though I know it will take longer. I'm also definitely going to try that recipe for Cheesecake -- one of my favorite desserts!

  17. The Beans look great but the pressure cooker thing scares me..I know they have newer ones rite...but I just don't like them...thank you for the recipe it sounds and looks lovely. Happy Mother's Day with love Janice

    1. I am 64 and just got my first pressure cooker from my mom. I don 't know why I didn 't get one sooner, but like u I was scared to use one. Now I am cooking everything I can in it. Mine 's a Wolfgang Puck and it was a gift so I don 't know how much it was. So easy with the newer digital one's, I think I will get my daughter one for her BD.

  18. I am hungry now! LOL! You are tempting me here!

  19. I received a PC for christmas and I've loved using it.

    I just made this recipe and I had to make some adjustments because I had a bag of beans. I used 2cups of dried beans and 8 cups of water (added 1 tbl oil and 1 tbl salt). PC high for 50 minutes. Then followed the rest of the recipe adjusting ingredients for increased amount of beans. Very tasty!

  20. I made these beans, my family did not care for them. I think the clove and cinnamon gave them a weird taste. I tried to add some brown sugar to sweeten the beans, but they were unsaveable.


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