Baked beans are a quintessential part of English cuisine. An English breakfast is incomplete if it does not feature baked beans as part of its menu. In America, Boston is often referred to as Beantown in reference to its Boston baked beans which is usually served with a sauce made of molasses and salt pork. Over in Canada, the Quebec-style baked beans are served with Canada’s famous maple syrup. This versatile dish can be served hot or cold, by itself or along with toast. Baked beans are quite easy to prepare too, that’s why they are often referred to as convenience foods.
The following recipe is easy to follow and uses ingredients which you can either make yourself or buy at your local market. It can be served for breakfast and even for dinner. If you do not pair it with croutons, this dish can be served as an accompaniment to your favorite barbecued meats too.
- 3 tablespoons refined oil, preferably olive oil
- ½ lb smoked bacon, sliced
- 1 large onion, finely sliced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 garlic clove, diced
- 4 cans of dried kidney beans (navy beans can also be used)
- 3 cups tomato puree
- 3 cups barbecue sauce of your choice, either homemade or store bought
- ¾ cups brown sugar
- ½ cup Dijon mustard
- Fresh thyme
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Salt, to taste
First, the beans must be washed thoroughly and soaked in cold water overnight. If you are preparing this dish in a hurry and cannot soak the beans overnight, boiling them will do the trick. Just boil the beans in water and then let soak for about an hour. Drain the beans of water using a large colander. Make sure to keep this water aside as we will be using it in the recipe.
In a large saucepan, add the oil and once it is heated add onion, bell pepper, and the garlic clove. Let it sauté until the onion turns transparent. Next, add the tomato puree, BBQ sauce, brown sugar and Dijon mustard. Let it cook for about 15 to 20 minutes. Now, add the water from the beans along with salt and black pepper and allow it to simmer. While it simmers, soak the beans in cold water. Add the thyme, salt, and pepper, cover and allow the beans to simmer too until they start to soften. This should take about 30 minutes. In the meantime, take a small saucepan and sauté the bacon.
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine the sauce and beans in a large baking dish. Add the bacon and pop it into the oven for about 4 to 5 hours. Keep an eye on the oven, stirring and adding some of the water from the beans at regular intervals.
After five hours, your barbecue baked beans will be ready to serve. Serve it with some croutons or even by itself, your friends and family will surely be impressed.