It’s been absolutely frigid all week which makes me want to EAT!!! I don’t mean cheap chocolate or greasy potato chips. I like to eat something that will stick. The foods I crave are strong, thick and viscous enough to coat your ribs all the way through. Breakfast is oatmeal with butter and maple syrup. Lunch is fried Quinoa patties and borsht smothered in thick homemade cream cheese and supper? Oh, supper is the heartiest meal of all- baked beans.
Wait! don’t stop reading now. I promise this is gonna be good. You see, I’ve been working on my baked bean recipe for years and I think I’ve finally got it mastered. It’s thick, hearty and even patriotic (not just because of the maple syrup but also because the beans used in this recipe are a species native to North America). Try it out for yourself and I know it will change you from a doubter to a bonified bean lover.
This recipe serves two adults and a picky three-year-old but multiplies well so you can feed as many as you like.
~The night before
First of all you must soak your beans (I buy them dried because it’s less expensive and look pretty in my pantry. Plus you don’t have any preservative with dried beans). Measure out 1 1/2 c. dried navy beans. Cover them with 3 cups of filtered water and let them soak overnight.
~ The day of
Drain and rinse your beans, then put them in a flame proof casserole dish or bean pot if you’ve got one and cover them with 3 cups of filtered water.
Chop 1/2 pkg bacon and cook it in a frying pan. Once cooked, add the bacon and some (or all, because if you’re gonna do this you might as well do this right) of the grease to the beans. Then throw in,
1 diced onion
2 chopped garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
1/2 can tomato paste
2 Tbsp molasses
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp. chile flakes
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
don’t put any salt in this yet…it makes the beans cook funny. Save it for the end.
Put your beans in the oven at 350F and let the magic happen for 3-6 hours. You’ll want to check on them every now and then just to make sure there is still liquid there. Oh what a tragedy it is to let the liquid dry out and burn your precious beans. You could also cook this dish in a slow-cooker and quite frankly, it uses a lot less energy and tastes just as good.
When the beans are tender and delicious take out a spoonful and master your self control. you can’t taste for salt until they’ve cooled a little. Trust me on this! When they are cooled enough that they won’t singe off a layer of taste buds, check to see if you need to add any salt. It’s possible your bacon was salty enough already but season as you see fit.
Serve to your loved ones and enjoy. Nothing warms you up quite as well and baked beans. The heartiest rib-sticker I know.