Baked beans are a favorite dish to take along on a picnic or serve at a backyard barbecue. But served along with cornbread or hot biscuits, they can make a tasty main coarse. If there is one thing that distinguishes good baked beans from great baked beans, it is probably the length of the baking time; the longer they bake, the better the flavors blend together. Although most recipes call for navy beans, pinto beans work well and add their unique flavor the dish. Pinto beans are high in cholesterol-lowering fiber and are a good source of vitamins and protein.
Things You'll Need
Ovenproof baking dish
4 15½-ounce cans of pinto beans
1 ½ cups dark brown sugar
1 ½ cups ketchup
3 teaspoons yellow mustard
3 tablespoons liquid smoke
½ pound bacon
Medium yellow onion
3 large garlic cloves
Salt and pepper
Empty four 15½-ounce cans of pinto beans into a colander, and rinse the beans with cold water until the water runs clear. This will remove the flavoring added by the manufacturer and prepare the beans to be flavored with the ingredients in your recipe. Pour the beans into an ovenproof dish.
In a bowl, mix together 1½ cups of dark brown sugar, 1½ cups of ketchup, three teaspoons of yellow mustard and three tablespoons of liquid smoke. Pour the mixture over the beans, and stir until well blended.
Fry a ½ pound of bacon until crisp. Drain the bacon thoroughly on paper towels; then, chop the bacon into bite-size pieces. Add the bacon to the bean mixture. Reserve the bacon grease.
Dice a medium-size yellow onion, and chop three large cloves of garlic. Sauté the onion and garlic in the reserved bacon fat until golden brown. Add the mixture to the beans, and blend all the ingredients thoroughly. Salt and pepper to taste.
Place the dish in a 325-degree oven, and cook for three hours. Although you can serve the beans after cooking a shorter time, the flavor will be improved immensely by a longer cooking time.
For a flavorful addition, dice some leftover smoked beef or ham, and add it to the beans before baking.
To add a little kick to this recipe, dice two jalapeños, and sauté them with the onions and garlic.