Sunday, March 11, 2018

Easy Baked Beans with Bacon

As a veteran public-school teacher, baked beans, with-or-without hot dogs, was a cafeteria staple. I never tired of them tucked away in their safe, tiny, geometric plastic compartment on the lunch tray. Remember?

Even today, I confess, I often snatch cheap, one-dollar cans of "weenie beenies" from the supermarket shelf to store in my pantry for a quick snack or lunch. I just pop open the lid and eat them cold right out of the can along with a piece of buttered white bread.  We are talking a meal fit for a hobo king!

Baked beans are the quinntesstial cornerstone of American simple fare. Think picnics! Pot-luck dinners! Church socials! What is a holiday baked-ham dinner without baked beans?

One "can" of course, prepare baked beans from scratch. It's a lot of labor. And time.

But, when I saw this particular recipe, I was intrigued. It is from a website I very much enjoy, Its hostess is Phyllis Stokes who hails from South Carolina. I recommend you visit sometimes. Here is the video link for her baked beans:

I mostly stuck to the basic "structure" of her recipe. My changes were to add bacon, a jalapeno pepper, a can of cannellini beans for a bit more "bite." Instead of regular pork and beans, I used Bush's which has a thicker sauce. If you don't use the jalapeno, I do recommend a few dashes of hot sauce just for a bit of heat in the background, like Phyllis suggests.

These were excellent! Thanks, Phyllis!

  • 1, 28-ounce can Original Bush's Beans ... Seasoned with Bacon and Brown Sugar
  • 1, 14.5-ounce can Cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 slices smoked bacon
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small jalapeno (optional) seeded and minced
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2-3 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1-2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce 

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Slice the bacon horizontally down the center, then cut/chop into 1/2 inch pieces. Fry the bacon over medium heat in a medium saucepan just until it begins to turn brown. You do not want it crisp. Remove from pan and allow to drain on paper towel. Leave the drippings in the pan.

To the drippings, add the chopped red onion, chopped bell pepper and, if using, the minced jalapeno. When softened, about ten minutes, add the garlic and stir just until fragrant. Pour in the beans, ketchup, yellow mustard, molasses and Worcestershire. Taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking. If too sweet, add a splash of apple-cider vinegar. Not enough heat? A few shakes of your favorite hot sauce ... I use Tobasco.

Pour mixture into an 11 x 7-inch oven-safe dish or equivalent. Bake, uncovered, 30-40 minutes.

Great on its own ... OR ... split a hot biscuit in half ... ladle bean mixture on top with a side of hot dogs.