Tuesday, July 06, 2010

A different baked bean recipe

With summer events and entertaining in full swing, it's always nice to have an easy recipe one can bring along to share at cookouts, picnics, etc. Here is a new favorite recipe of ours.

Baked Beans

1 lb. dried great northern beans
Bacon fat (or use oil)
Small amount of bacon bits or leftover cooked bacon, crumbled
1 large onion, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
2/3 cup ketchup
1/3 cup barbecue sauce
1 c. water
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. coarsely ground pepper

Soak beans overnight. In the morning drain and rinse beans, discarding liquid. Place beans in Dutch oven and add 6 cups water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 hour or until beans are almost tender.

In the Dutch oven, melt a tablespoon or so of bacon fat, or use the same amount of oil. Saute the chopped onion in this until tender; add the garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Stir in all of the remaining ingredients and place in an ungreased 3-quart casserole dish. Cover and bake at 300ยบ for several hours or until beans are tender and reach desired consistency, Stir every 30-60 minutes and add water as needed.

This is a major revision of a recipe called New England Baked Beans from Taste of Home. To my mind, these are not New England-y at all, since true New England baked beans would not contain ketchup or garlic, nor would they ordinarily start with great northern beans. But these beans are very delicious! My 9-year-old granddaughter, a real bean aficionado, loves these. I just took a large batch of these to a church cookout and there were only a few left over.

I had been looking for a slightly different baked bean recipe, as we have them every Saturday night, and a little variety is always good. I tweaked this somewhat before even trying it, since I couldn't stand the thought of 1-1/2 cups brown sugar, 1/3 cup molasses, and 2 cups of ketchup (which contains sugar also). This recipe was described as being "slightly sweet" which is certainly an understatement. When I first tried the recipe I did use the full amount of ketchup and cut the brown sugar to 1/2 cup and kept the molasses the same. This quickly changed, the next time to 1 cup ketchup and 1 cup water, with the 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/3 cup molasses. Then I had to be away on a Saturday morning and my son made the beans. He changed the ketchup component to 2/3 cup ketchup and 1/3 cup raspberry chipotle barbecue sauce. He forgot the molasses, which is probably just as well. Since then, I've been making the beans with the proportions given here in the recipe.

At this point, I'm alternating between this recipe and my regular baked bean recipe. We enjoy them both!


  1. Mmmm, these sound yummy! I was wondering how you would go about making them if you were using pre-cooked great northern beans? (I have some in the freezer.) I wasn't sure how many cooked beans equal a pound of dried beans, and if I would need to add any extra liquid. I hope to try these tomorrow night! Thanks for the recipe!

  2. My well-worn and very reliable More With Less Cookbook tells me that 1 pound of dried beans equals approximately 6 cups of cooked beans.

    I don't think I would add a lot of extra liquid to start with; just the 1 cup water it calls for. You will be able to tell if they are getting too thick and just add more water as you see fit.

    Hope they turn out well for you and that your family enjoys the beans!


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