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Baked Beans

1 lb dried haricot or pinto beans, soaked for 6 hours in fresh water
1/2 head celery
1 medium-sized onion
6 cloves
4 oz tomato puree
2 oz sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
1/2 oz soft brown sugar

Bring the beans, which have been thoroughly soaked, to the boil in
the water they were soaked in. Boil for 10 minutes, strain, discard
the water and cover again with fresh water to the depth of half an
inch above the surface of the beans. Finely chop the celery, peel
the onion and stick the cloves into it and bury it and the chopped
celery in the beans. Add the tomato puree, the sun-dried tomatoes
and the soft brown sugar. Although it isn't authentic in Massachusetts,
at this stage you can also add a tablespoon of olive oil.

Bring gently to the boil, cover the pot and either simmer on top
of the stove or in a medium oven Gas Mark 4/350F/180C for 1 1/2 to
2 hours until the beans are completely cooked and have absorbed
all the liquid. Check halfway through to make sure that the liquid
isn't drying out too much. Conversely, if there is still a lot of
liquid at the end of the cooking time, remove the lid and boil
rapidly, stirring continuously until the sauce id thickened.

When the beans are completely cooked stir the mixture and remove
the onion. You may remove the cloves, chop the onion and put that
back if you choose - it's optional. Salt the dish at this point
using about a teaspoon of salt and check for the balance of sweet
and sour and adjust.

Serve 6-8


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