I’ve got a little confession to make. This baked beans recipe isn’t really baked. They are homemade baked beans…they just aren’t baked. I cooked them on the stove top. So I guess that probably makes them more of a pork and beans recipe than traditional “baked” beans. But every time I hear pork and beans, I think of the movie “Something About Mary” and that scene with Ben Stiller and her brother and the whole Franks and Beans line. So let’s just call them baked beans from here on out – okay?
A couple of months ago, I got a nice big box from McCormick (the spice and seasoning people, not Maureen McCormick – Marsha from the Brady Bunch) with a selection of their marinades and seasonings for the 2011 grilling season. In the kit, they talked about hot flavor pairings for 2011 like: Smoke & Craft Brews, Mustard & Sweet Onion, Fiery Peppers & Grilled Corn, Paprika & Orange (one of my personal favorites) and Balsamic & Blueberry. From the kit, we were to use one of the pairings to create a dish specifically geared toward the grilling season. I thought, what could be more appropriate than a pork and beans recipe?
If you haven’t already guessed, my baked beans recipe uses the orange and paprika pairing. I like the sweet and smokey contrast that those two ingredients have working for each other. Plus, if you’re going to be pairing the beans to go with grilled meats, the smokiness in the paprika makes your taste buds think these beans were cooked over an open fire in a cast iron pot.
Even though this homemade baked beans recipe isn’t technically baked, you’ll think it is once you taste it. I cooked everything on the stove top to the point that it was rich and thick, just like you get when you bake it low and slow in the oven. But it comes together much quicker when cooked on top of the stove instead of in the oven.
You do have an alternative for making this pork and beans recipe. You could actually turn this into crockpot baked beans. The beans will definitely have a more liquidy consistency (because the liquid doesn’t have a chance to evaporate) but they will taste just as good. In fact, you’ll get a few more servings out of the dish because of that extra liquid.
Show me a man who cannot bother to do little things and I’ll show you a man who cannot be trusted to do big things. – Lawrence D. Bell
Lately it seems like more and more people are becoming deeper and deeper involved with themselves. I’m not talking about self-improvement (no, that would be fantastic). I’m talking about people seem to be becoming more and more self-involved as time goes by.
Little things like holding a store door open for someone who is having trouble walking, or has a bunch of packages that makes opening the door difficult. Or letting someone in the checkout line, that’s behind you with only 1 item, go ahead of you when you’ve got 50 items. These things appear to be a foreign concept lately. I guess I’m talking about the little things in life that boil down to common courtesy. Have we become so self-involved with our own problems that we’ve lost touch with the little things in life?
These things are about the greater good. But if we’re not being kind to random strangers, how are we treating the people in our own lives? It’s been said time and time again that we treat those closest to us, the worst. So if we aren’t holding the door open for someone else that needs help, are we locking the door on our loved ones?
Do me a favor this week. Each day, do something nice for someone outside of your family (or immediate circle of friends) and something nice for a loved one. I’m not even talking about things that cost money. Tell a co-worker that you like her earrings or help grab something down off of a high shelf for someone having trouble at the grocery store. At home, tell your spouse that you love them and give them a hug or slip a sweet little note in their purse/wallet before they leave for work.
Try these little things this week and tell me if you don’t feel better about pretty much everything.
Recipe: Homemade Baked Beans
- 5 Slices Thick Cut Bacon
- 1 Large Onion (diced)
- 2 Cloves Garlic (minced)
- 3 14 – 15 Ounce Cans Cannelini Beans (drained)
- 3/4 Cup Ketchup
- 1/3 Cup Orange Juice Concentrate (frozen – thawed)
- 1/3 Cup Molasses
- 1/3 Cup Cider Vinegar
- 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
- 2 Teaspoons Spicy Mustard
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons McCormick Smoked Paprika
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons McCormick Regular (sweet) Paprika
- 1 1/2 Teaspoons McCormick Dried Thyme
- 1 Teaspoon McCormick Grill Mates Baja Citrus Marinade (this is a powder)
- 1 McCormick Spices Bay Leaf
- In a large sauce pan (preferably a Dutch Oven) cook the bacon over medium heat. You are just rendering the fat out of the bacon, not trying to make it crunchy.
- Once most of the fat has been rendered out of the bacon, remove the strips of bacon to a paper towel lined plate and drain out all but a tablespoon of the bacon fat from the pan. (Save those bacon drippings to use for things like making eggs or sauteing vegetables. DO NOT pour it down the sink drain or you’ll have plumbing problems later.)
- Put the pan back on the medium heat and saute the onions and garlic until the onions begin to turn translucent (about 7-10 minutes).
- While the onions and garlic are cooking, roughly chop the bacon into small pieces.
- Add the beans to the pot and stir to combine them with the onions and garlic.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot (including the bacon) and stir to combine.
- Continue to stir occasionally so that nothing sticks and burns on the bottom of the pot (because of the sugars in this recipe, things can burn fairly easily).
- Cook the beans until the sauce reaches the consistency you desire. I cooked mine for around 30 minutes.
If you are going to be eating these baked beans right away, you will notice that they can be quite tangy (from the vinegar). Once they sit overnight, this seems to not be so pronounced. You can add less vinegar if you want them less tangy.
Preparation time:15 Minutes
Cooking time:45 Minutes
Number of servings (yield): 6
Culinary tradition: USA (General)