Baked Beans -a la Karl

I have always loved the dark, sweet taste of Boston-style baked beans. Although very easy to make, it’s something I rarely serve up. I have investigated many recipes and revised them into one that I think is really tasty. I’ve added a few unexpected ingredients that I think make the dish stand out as a winner.

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Baked beans make an excellent late-night dinner served with toast or along side left-over pork. They are an excellent source of protein but keep in mind the recipe holds a lot of sweetness. It’s also an impressive accompanyment at breakfast or brunch – serve it along side eggs, toast, cheese and sausage for an English-style breakfast.

This is a very inexpensive dish to make (total cost for the ingredients was about $8) and is easy to make. Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

3 cans of navy beans total: 2 cans drained, 1 can with liquid.

1 cup of plain tomato sauce or diced tomatoes.

2 teaspoons dry mustard (or 3 teaspoons of jarred mustard).

1/2 cup dark molasses.

1/2 cup brown sugar.

1 garlic clove, minced.

2 tablespoons soy sauce.

1/2 pound bacon, fried crisp and chopped.

3 tablespoons of reserved bacon fat.

1/2 cup orange marmalade.

1 teaspoon smoked (or regular) paprika.

Mix tomato sauce, mustard, molasses, sugar, garlic, soy sauce, marmalade and paprika in the bottom of a 2-3 litre cast-iron (or an ovenproof pan with lid). Add in 2 cans of drained navy beans and 1 can of navy beans with liquid and stir.

Bake in a 300f oven for 1 hour with lid on. At the end of the first hour stir in the bacon fat and chopped crispy bacon; bake for 1 more hour with lid on. At the end of the second hour remove lid and stir. Bake without lid for the last (3rd) hour, stirring every 20 minutes. Take from oven and stir; let sit for at least 30 minutes. The baked bean mixture will thicken as it cools, add a little water if needed.

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Baking time: 3 hours, Prep time: 15 minutes. Note you can also use a Crock Pot. Simply add all ingredients in the morning, turn on medium, cover and leave for 6-10 hours.

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