Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I usually just play around with canned baked beans and they come out pretty good. I bet many of you also have your secret ingredients for curing beans. That said, there’s no comparison between B&M, Bush’s Best, or Van Camp and homemade baked beans.
One Mattapoisett man, however, is royalty when it comes to baked beans.
Just recently the Mattapoisett Knights of Columbus cooked a ham and baked bean fundraising dinner for our very own Chris McCarthy, where the baked beans were so delicious and addictive that I had to find out more about those beans at perfect tasting bacon.
They were prepared by Bernie Gauvin of Mattapoisett.
“Round here they call me the ‘King of Baked Beans,'” said Gauvin, who has been married to his wife Nancy for 62 years. Did the delicious baked beans have anything to do with keeping the marriage together for so long?
“It’s a secret, just like my recipe, and I’m not telling anyone,” he said.
Gauvin, who is heading into his 90s, is well aware that his secret recipe is a huge treat for the many Knights of Columbus “to-go” meals.
“People are going to call and ask if dinner includes ‘Bernie Beans,'” he said.
Gauvin, his wife Nancy, and the other Knights—along with their hard-working wives—have a spotlessly clean kitchen stocked with a dozen electric countertop slow cookers, filling and slowly cooking those “Bernie beans.” He’s really protective of his signature dish.
“My wife keeps telling me to write down the recipe, but no, I’m not revealing my magic formula,” he said.
One thing is certain: I tasted the balanced blend of salted pork and brown sugar, along with its secret ingredients, which creates a delectable dish fit for a king.
What spices does he add to make the beans so good and sweet but not too sweet? That’s what I want to know.
“The only hint I’m going to give you,” Gauvin said, “is that I use white beans that I rinse and soak overnight, then slowly cook them overnight until they’re soft. be perfect.”
Please let us know what you do with your baked beans, whether it’s making them from scratch or just making store bought beans taste better – or if you know anyone who makes the best baked beans.