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Boston Baked Beans

4 c Dry white pea beans
3/4 lb Salt pork
1 lg Peeled onion
2 tb Tomato paste
2 tb Cider vinegar
1/2 c Dark molasses
2 ts Salt
1 ts Fresh ground black pepper
1 c Dark brown sugar, firmly packed
Powdered cloves

Soak the beans overnight in enough cold water to cover them generously. Drain, put in a large kettle and cover with fresh water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil slowly, reduce heat to simmer and cook gently until the beans are almost tender. If the water boil away, add more boiling water to keep them well covered. Drain, saving the cooking water. Meanwhile, scald the pork in boiling water. Cut half of it into pieces about 1-inch square, leaving the other half whole.

In the bottom of a large earthenware casserole or bean pot with a lid, place the onion. Add half the drained beans, then the cubes of pork and top with remaining beans. Put the chunk of pork on top. Mix together the tomato paste, vinegar, a good pinch of cloves, molasses, salt, pepper and sugar and pour it over all. Cover and bake in a preheated 250 degree oven for 6-8 hours. Keep an eye on the beans. If the liquid boils away, add any remaining bean liquid, heated to the boiling point, or boiling water. The beans should always be covered with liquid.

During the last half of cooking, uncover the pot and allow beans to finish cooking. Do not add any more liquid during this time. Serve with steamed Boston brown bread (canned) or hot rolls.

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