The most fantastic baked beans are actually amazingly easy to make! And we all know that baked beans are a staple side dish at every BBQ or picnic, and they are a must if you’re having fried chicken. But rather than settle for canned beans, this is a fantastic recipe and is very easy. These are amazingly delicious…addictive even!
Cooking time: about 2 hours (30 minutes active time)
4 slices of thick-cut bacon, each cut into four roughly equal pieces
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
2 15 oz cans of pork and beans (yes, really! drain some if there is a lot of liquid)
1/2 cup your favorite BBQ sauce (I make my own using Steven Raichlen’s hot and spicy BBQ sauce from his Ribs, Ribs, Ribs book)
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp cider vinegar if BBQ sauce is really sweet
Preheat the oven to 325 F.
Heat a large skillet on medium high, and when hot, lay enough bacon pieces to form one layer in the pan, and cook until mostly cooked (but not fully crisp) and fat is rendered. Do in multiple batches as needed. Remove the bacon to paper towels as it’s ready.
In the same skillet (do not dump out the grease!!), add the onions, garlic and jalapeno pepper, and reduce heat to medium. Stir regularly, and cook until onions are softened and translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add the beans, BBQ sauce, sugar and mustard, and fully stir to dissolve the sugar. Taste, and add the vinegar if needed. (You likely won’t need to add any additional seasoning, but feel free to add salt, pepper, cayenne or additional sugar to taste).
Lightly oil a 9×9 baking pan, and pour entire bean mixture into the pan. Top with the bacon slices (which will crisp nicely since the fat is mostly rendered), and bake for 90 minutes, until bubbly, nicely browned and bubbling.
Remove from oven, let sit for 5-10 minutes, and serve. Enjoy your fantastic baked beans!