Bean Hole Beans- by Stephanie & Justin

Fire in the hole
Fire in the hole

Thursday was a hot sunny summer day, which made weeding in the entrance garden difficult. Norma and I pulled all of the Soapwort because it had completely invaded the Route 1 garden.  Afterwards Justin and I started a fire in an underground oven so Steven could make a batch of beanhole beans in preparation for the TV film crew scheduled to arrive in a couple of days.  Beanhole beans were totally new to us.  We’d never seen someone cook in a logging tractor tire rim or even underground before. Steven had us start a fire in the rim at 2pm. We kept the fire going all day until the amount of coal was built up high enough for the pot to fit tight and snug.

Loading in the Beans
Loading in the Beans

At 8pm the fire had burned down to a pile of hot coals and deemed baking worthy, Justin and I walked up the hill to find Steven cleaning out 3 different sized Iron cauldrons. When he finished, Steven started out by placing 3 strips of bacon down on the bottom with a half chopped Onion and a slab of salted pork. Next he drained the beans (soldier beans), placed them in the pot with the other ingredients and dumped in the secret sauce (that included garlic, mustard and dark maple syrup). With that all set and ready to go we headed down to start baking. As Steven placed the beans on top of the burning hot coals Justin took a few pictures to document the event one step at a time. After they were set in the fire Justin threw beach sand onto of the lid so it would retain the heat naturally.

And a wheel barrel load of beach sand for insulation
And a wheel barrel load of beach sand for insulation

Friday morning we couldn’t wait to taste the beans. So once we arrived we ran down to uncover them. Justin stated to shovel off the sand he obtained from the beach. After each scoop we could see the steam pouring out releasing a delightful aroma. With our mouths watering and eager to taste I told Justin to hurry up. He kept on digging till he heard a slight ping sound. Using our hands we scooped out the remaining sand and cleaned off the top of the lid (we were surprised that it wasn’t too hot to touch). Justin lifted them out of the hole while I grabbed a garden cart from the ocean tenting parking lot. With the Jackpot of beans ready to travel, we headed up the hill for everyone to taste. Each staff member had their own opinion of what should be added for the next batch. Regardless of everyone’s opinions the beans were magnificent.

Maine culinary history in a pot
Maine culinary history in a pot

2 thoughts on “Bean Hole Beans- by Stephanie & Justin

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