Mmmm. Four colours of beans baked with molasses, onions, beer, apple cider vinegar, mustard and oregano. You can have from-scratch baked beans on the table with just half an hour of chopping and mixing. Put your pot in the oven and walk away. When you come back to the kitchen, Voila! –A high protein meal with lots of flavour, plus leftovers for lunch or snacking. They taste like you’ve been cooking for hours because the only difference between this quick version and all-day baked beans is that you start with plain, canned beans instead of spending hours reconstituting dried beans.
Start with plain beans and you decide on the spices and the amount of sweetness that goes into your home baked beans. In the past I’ve tried adding mustard and onions to already flavoured, processed baked beans, but somehow my processed baked beans always ended up like well, super sweet, processed baked beans.
Comfort food that’s good for you. –Meaty bacon and four different textures of beans in a thick sauce with a hint of sweet, smoky tang. Serve with brightly coloured, raw veggies for a healthy, pretty and easy dinner.
If you are handy, make this same recipe, but reconstitute dried beans yourself. Same great flavour, but you’ll save money. For me it’s worth it to start with canned beans because I’m not usually organized a day ahead. Chop chop and on to the table is more my style :)
Adapted from Ed Mitchell’s North Carolina Baked Beans
- 4 cans, each 15 oz /425 g Beans. Choose different colours, such as Pinto, Black, Navy & Kidney
- ½ lb /225 g good quality Bacon, chopped crossways into ½ in /13 mm pieces
- 2 medium White Onions, chopped. Approx. 3 c /720 ml
- 2 cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp /15 ml fresh Ginger, grated
- 1 tbsp /15 ml Dijon Mustard
- ¼ c /60 ml Crosby's Fancy Molasses
- ¼ c /60 ml Golden Brown Sugar, loosely packed
- 1 bottle Beer. Darker beer is better but whatever you have on hand if fine.
- ⅔ c /160 ml Apple Cider Vinegar
- ½ c /120 ml Tomato Paste
- 1 sprig fresh Oregano
- Preheat oven to 350 F/180 C
- Drain and rinse beans. Spoon rinsed beans into a Dutch oven or large sauté pan with lid. Add chopped bacon, chopped onions, minced garlic, and grated ginger. Cook over medium heat for approx. 7 minutes until bacon is cooked and onions are soft.
- Add remaining ingredients to bacon mixture. Increase heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Stir but do no mush the beans.
- Remove pot from stove and cover. Place pot in oven for 40 minutes, checking halfway through cooking. Remove pot from oven and serve.
YOU Next Year Principle
Cooking our own food is way simpler than we’re led to believe.
Some foods are so comforting, so nourishing of body and soul, that to eat them is to be home again after a long journey. To eat such a meal is to remember that, though the world is full of knives and storms, the body is built for kindness. The angels, who know no hunger, have never been as satisfied.
Eli Brown, American novelist