I have not given up on my canning for my pantry and so far this month I have been able to can 8 pints of homemade chicken stock, 8 pints of easy layer chili and I used my last jar of pork and beans for baked beans, so it was time to get my stash built back up.
I did a search to see what the history of pork and beans just for the fun of I found on www.foodreference.com some great facts. These beans have been around for a long time!
Commercially canned pork and beans were first sold in the 1880’s, but were not very popular until H.J. Heinz came out with their version in 1895.
Indianapolis, Indiana grocer Gilbert Van Camp discovered that his customers enjoyed an old family recipe for pork and beans in tomato sauce, so he proceeded in opening up a canning company and Van Camp’s Pork and Beans became an American classic.
Where is the “pork” in the pork and beans you ask? The “pork” is pork fat which is used for flavoring and not for meat content which is why you only find the small pieces of pork fat in the can as most is rendered and melted in the product. Some pork producers have tried to get companies to use lean pork or stop using the term “pork” and some have even lobbied the FDA to require the change. Manufacturers have stood their ground stating that their consumers like the products as they are, so they have no intention of changing. Over 100 million hars of “pork and beans” are sold every year!
I have to agree if you took out the “pork fat” and replaced with lean pork you would not have the same product.
Well that’s enough history for one morning so let’s get to making “Pork and Beans”.
Pork and Beans for Canning
You will need on average 5 pounds of dried navy beans for 7 quarts or 3.25 pounds of dried navy beans for a full canner of 9 pints. This is approximate amounts. I used 3 pounds of beans and got 11 pints of beans so I was able to can 8 pints and use the extra baked beans for a small crock pot full of baked beans for supper next day.
Dried Navy Beans- Note average guideline above
Non-Chlorinated Water- I use bottled water for the second boil
Thick Sliced Bacon
Ketchup – 1 cup
Preparing the beans:
Select mature,dry beans, Sort out and discard discolored beans. Sorting and washing to remove any stones that are sometimes in with the beans. Once the beans are washed well place beans in a large pot and add 3 cups water to each cup of dried beans. Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes, remove from heat and let beans soak for 1 hour.
After 1 hour pour the beans into a strainer to drain off the cooking water. I gave the beans a quick rinse and returned back to the same pot, at this point I used bottled water for the beans to be canned in, as chlorinated water will cause discoloring to the beans during the canning process.
For the 3 pounds of dried beans I used a full gallon of bottled water. Bring the fresh water and beans back to a hard boil. The original recipe had you take 3 cups boiling water into a new pot add the 1 cup of ketchup and bring to a boil and then add the other 3 quarts of water to the ketchup water mixture and bring to another boil. I saved messing up another pot and put the ketchup directly into the pot of beans that were boiling and brought the beans back up to a hard boil. You can do either way.
I stacked 3 thick slices of bacon and cut into 3/4 inch cubes and placed one “cube” of bacon slices into the bottom of each prepared canning jar. I filled the jars with the hot beans and tomato sauce making sure to leave a 1-inch headspace. Remove any air bubbles and add more sauce if needed to keep your 1-inch headspace, wipe jar rims and add the prepared lids and rings. Adjust the lids to finger tight and place in your prepared canner.
Process the beans at 11 pounds PSI or the recommended pressure for your altitude to equal 11 pounds PSI. Pints for 65 minutes and Quarts for 75 minutes.
After the alloted canning time and canner has released all pressure on its own leave the jars in canner for an 5 extra minutes. Remove jars from the canner and place in draft free area over night. Check that jars have sealed , then remove rings, wash, label and place in your pantry. Any unsealed jars should be used in 2 days.
Your are now one step closer to homemade baked beans!