My mom makes REALLY good baked beans. Granted, I think everyone’s favorite baked beans recipe comes from their mother, but mine is true. My mom’s baked beans are REALLY good. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I will serve baked beans at my wedding, alongside tuna mac and hotdogs. My mom’s beans are pretty simple, I guess, and when I make them for myself I tend to make them spicier than my mom does, (because to my parents, black pepper is spicy) and I can be a bit more heavy handed with the bacon than my mom is. All in all though, these are really good beans.
My Mom’s Baked Beans, my way:
4 cans white Northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 big sweet onion, chopped
5 slices of bacon
4 sizable cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp molasses
3 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp chipotle powder (cayenne if you don’t have chipotle, but I like the smokiness of chipotle)
1 tsp dry mustard
salt and pepper
First, pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees. Then, crisp your bacon slices in a big nonstick saute pan, on medium heat. When they’re crispy, remove them from the pan and set them on a paper towel lined plate to cool. Now you face an interesting dilemma. You can either leave all the bacon fat in the pan, thus increasing deliciousness quotient, or you can drain all but a tbsp or so of bacon fat, thus decreasing fatass quotient. Your call.
Next, dump the onion and garlic into whatever amount of bacon fat you’ve decided is appropriate, also on medium heat. Let those brown a bit, maybe 5 minutes. Then put in all the rest of the ingredients except the beans. Cook everything down for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. You want it to look like a lot of thinnish BBQ sauce. I’d let it cook down for maybe 15 minutes.
Next, chop up the crispy bacon, and dump it, along with the sauce and the beans, into a dutch oven (if you don’t have a dutch oven, that’s okay, you can use any oven safe container and use tinfoil instead of a top. But really, there are a huge variety of reasonably priced, enameled cast iron dutch ovens on Amazon and at HomeGoods. If you cook more than a little, I would invest in one.). Put the top on and stick it in the oven for 45 minutes.
If, after 45 minutes, you think the beans look too soupy, no problem. Take the top off, turn the heat up to 400 degrees, and cook them for 10 or 15 more minutes, they’ll thicken right up.