The Northeastís famous baked beans are traditionally made with molasses, but here they are sweetened with another New England classic: maple syrup. One pound of dry navy beans will yield enough hot topping for a crowd...and then some.
Rinse beans well. Place in large bowl and add enough cold water to cover the beans by 2 inches. Let beans soak 8-12 hours (longer is fine, too).
Drain and rinse beans; place in heavy kettle (cast iron works great). Add enough cold water to cover the beans by 1 inch. Bring to slow simmer, skimming the surface often to remove foam. While beans are simmering, heat oven to 300-325 degrees. Cook bacon in a skillet; drain strips on paper towels, reserving the fat in the pan (if desired).
After beans have simmered slowly 20-30 minutes, chop the bacon and add it to the beans. Stir in some or all of the reserved bacon fat, if desired. Stir in maple syrup, barbecue sauce, onion, mustard and salt. Return mixture to a simmer. Cover pot tightly and bake until beans are fully tender, 3-4 hours. You want to end up with very tender beans in a thickened sauce. If thereís too much liquid at the end, transfer pot to a stove burner and cook beans over medium high flame, stirring constantly, until liquid is reduced. You can also thicken them by pressing some beans against the sides of the pot.
You may serve the beans right away, but they will taste even better if you: a.) leave them in a warm oven for a couple hours; b.) let them cool down completely and then reheat them; or c.) cool and refrigerate them overnight.
Grill or boil the hot dogs, place them in buns and top with baked beans.
Copyright by Terese Allen