What Food was Served at Wild West Saloons?
What Food was Served at Wild West Saloons?
"Baked Pork and Beans" from the book "Cooking for Profit by Jessup Whitehead, 1886"


  • 1 1/4 cup (175 g) dried navy beans
  • 4 oz (113 g) salt pork or bacon
  • Pinch of baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp molasses


  1. If you’re using salt pork, you’ll want to rinse it to get rid of some of the salt because it’s really, really salty. Cover it with water and let it sit for about an hour, then dump the water out and cover it with new water for another hour, then dump the water out. This is best done the day before you cook your beans.
  2. In a bowl or pot, cover the beans with water and let them sit overnight.
  3. If there’s any soaking water left in the beans the next day, dump it out. Put the beans in a pot and sprinkle the baking soda over them. Add just enough fresh water to cover the beans, plus about 1/2 inch (1.5 cm).
  4. Score the fatty side of the piece of salt pork with a few shallow cuts, then slice it into 4 equal pieces.
  5. Add the salt pork or bacon to the pot of beans and bring it to a boil, then cover with a lid and let them cook for 1 hour. Every once in a while, take the lid off and skim off any scum that has accumulated on the surface.
  6. After the beans have cooked for 1 hour, strain the water out, then return the beans and salt pork to the pot. Add cold water just until it’s level with the beans, then bring it back to a boil and cook until they're nice and soft, about 10 minutes.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  8. Once the beans are soft, remove the pork and stir the salt and molasses into the beans.
  9. Put the beans into four baking vessels if you wish, but I just used one metal pie pan. Arrange the salt pork on top of the beans. Bake for about 30 minutes if using one larger dish. If you use four smaller dishes, it may take a little less time.
  10. Belly up to the table and serve the beans forth.


What's your reaction?



0 comment

Write the first comment for this!

Facebook Conversations