Baked Beans is a classic dish made from beans that are slow-cooked in a sweet and savory sauce, often containing molasses or brown sugar, mustard, and various spices. It is a popular side dish in American cuisine, particularly in the southern and New England regions, and is commonly served at barbecues, picnics, and potlucks. Baked Beans can be made with various types of beans, but navy beans, great northern beans, or haricot beans are the most common choices.
Recipe for Baked Beans:
- 1 lb dried navy beans, soaked overnight and drained
- 6 cups water
- 1/2 lb bacon, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1/3 cup molasses
- 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 300°F (150°C).
- In a large Dutch oven or oven-safe pot, combine the soaked beans and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45-60 minutes, or until the beans are tender but not mushy. Drain the beans, reserving the cooking liquid.
- In a large skillet, cook the chopped bacon over medium heat until it starts to brown and render its fat. Add the chopped onion and cook until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the molasses, brown sugar, ketchup, Dijon mustard, salt, black pepper, and smoked paprika (if using). Mix well to combine the ingredients and create a thick sauce.
- Add the cooked beans to the skillet, stirring gently to coat them evenly with the sauce. Pour in enough of the reserved bean cooking liquid to just cover the beans.
- Transfer the bean mixture to the Dutch oven or oven-safe pot, cover with a lid, and bake in the preheated oven for 2-3 hours, or until the beans are tender and the sauce has thickened. Stir occasionally and add more reserved bean cooking liquid if needed to prevent the beans from drying out.
- Remove the Baked Beans from the oven and let them stand for a few minutes before serving.
This Baked Beans recipe offers a delicious and comforting side dish with tender beans cooked in a rich and flavorful sauce. The combination of sweet and savory flavors makes it a versatile accompaniment to various main dishes, especially grilled meats and barbecued fare.