Boston beans and ham recipe

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  • Yield: 4 Servings


  • 1¾ pounds/850 g smoked ham, bone-in
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons English mustard powder
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 (14-ounce/400 g) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1¼ cups/300 ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • Freshly ground black pepper
How to Make It
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Soak the ham in cold water for 15 minutes to release some of its saltiness. Dry well. Either leave the rind and string on, or remove it; you can also cut the ham in half to aid cooking (trimmed weight should be about 1½ pounds/700 g). Spray an ovenproof casserole with oil and sauté the ham over medium heat until browned on all sides.
  2. Remove the ham from the pan and set aside on paper towels. Add the onion to the casserole and sauté for 2 minutes, stirring well to release the meat flavors from the pan base. Add the garlic, tomato paste, maple syrup, mustard powder, red pepper flakes, paprika, and cinnamon. Stir well and cook for another minute, then add the beans and stock and heat through. Add the ham, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and transfer to the oven for 45 to 50 minutes, removing the lid for the final 10 minutes to reduce the sauce.
  3. Season well with black pepper, check for saltiness, then remove the ham. Serve it sliced on top of the beans with some steamed, iron-rich greens to cut through the richness of the stew.

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