Saturday, November 3, 2012

Baked Beans

For this recipe, baked beans is actually a misnomer because they are not baked at all. Although you could bake them, if you are so inclined, but I don't think it's necessary. However, the name "Barbeque" Beans doesn't really work either because barbeque sauce is not a dominant ingredient (and it's optional). So, baked beans it is, but even easier since there is no baking involved!

1 tbsp. ghee
1 onion, diced
3 medium to large cloves of garlic, chopped
6 cups of assorted beans (how to soak beans)
2 tbsp. bacon fat
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup molasses
2 tbsp. mustard
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. honey
Sea salt & pepper to taste
Up to 1/4 cup barbeque sauce (optional), try this or this

How To:
1. Add ghee, onions, and garlic to a large cast iron pan. I use a 4-quart cast iron braiser pan to make my baked beans and it works perfectly. Sauté over medium heat until onions are translucent and garlic is aromatic but not burnt. Stir occasionally and keep an eye on this so you don't burn your garlic.

2. Add beans and all other ingredients through the honey. Stir to combine, reduce heat to low and simmer. You can simmer 15 minutes or two hours, depending on your timing needs and/ or preference. I like to make these far in advance so I don't have to worry about beans while I am cooking everything else. They can just simmer away on the stove, with minimal oversight. If you're planning to keep them on the stove for a while, then you'll want a very low simmer and give them a turn occasionally.

3. Season with salt & pepper and add barbeque sauce, if using. That's it! So easy. You will love these beans. They are thick and very flavorful.

My husband loves baked beans and we make them as a side dish with many meals. I have been experimenting with many different versions, but my husband thinks this one is the best. Try making these with hot dogs, try these from US Wellness, for an incredibly kid-friendly meal. In a pinch, you can substitute four cans beans, any type, rinsed.
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