Baked beans are a staple party food, and they go very well with a number of common picnic foods. Coleslaw, hot dogs, pulled pork, and burgers seem to go hand in hand with them, and fortunately, making homemade baked beans is, although it can be a lengthy process, not too difficult. Along with chili, baked beans is one of the easiest bean meals to make at home.
Easy Homemade Baked Beans Recipe
- 5 cups navy beans (if using dry beans, it will take some time to cook the beans beforehand).
- 1/2 lb. bacon, cut into strips or 1/2 lb. lean pork, cut into small chunks
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup chopped onion (Here are some great onion choppers for you!)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon brown mustard
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar barbecue sauce
- 1 teaspoon olive oil (Here’s some olive oil dispensers you may like)
- Cook the beans, if uncooked. To do this, first soak the beans overnight in a large pot where they are covered by a couple of inches of water. Then, boil the beans in water until they are tender. Add soft beans to a large casserole dish. If using pre-cooked, canned beans, just add them to the dish.
- Cut bacon or pork into strips or chunks, and briefly saute the meat in a pan with olive oil until it is about half cooked. Add the meat to the casserole dish.
- Chop about 1 cup worth of onion, and add that to the casserole dish
- Add the remaining ingredients, except for salt and pepper (molasses, ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, barbecue sauce), to the dish. Stir the mixture around with the beans.
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees, and place the dish in the oven, uncovered.
- The liquid should begin to bubble after a while, and the dish should be stirred at that point. Once a satisfactory baked bean dish results, and the ingredients have cooked and blended together (usually, this will be about an hour after placing the dish in the oven), remove the dish, add salt and pepper to taste, and set aside to cool.
This is one way of making homemade baked beans from scratch, but there are many variations. For cooks who do not have as much time, using canned beans (instead of cooking dry beans first) will expedite the process significantly. And instead of using brown sugar, mustard, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce, a hearty serving of barbecue sauce will suffice in their place, but the outcome will be less tasty, and certainly not as creative. Navy beans work well as the main ingredient for any baked bean recipe, although other beans, such as pintos also work, and they give the meal an overall different taste. Bacon and pork are not necessary for the dish, and may be excluded by those making leaner baked beans at home, although the meat certainly does add a nice flavor. There are many ways to go about making homemade baked beans, and it is important to experiment with different ingredients to find what turns out to be just right.
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