Baked Beans Month: Recipes
July is Baked Beans Month. And while we love the baked beans you can buy right in the store at Coborn’s and have delivered from CobornsDelivers, sometimes it’s nice to dress them up a bit or even make your own from scratch!
History of Baked Beans
Baked beans are believed to be based on a Native American dish that involved beans cooked with fat and maple syrup. European settlers then adapted the recipe using pork and molasses. Some food historians also say baked beans can be traced back to the classic French dish cassoulet. Heinz launched its baked beans in the U.S. in 1895 and a canned food staple was born.
Doctor Up Store Bought Baked Beans
If you want to simply open up a can of baked beans, there are some great ways to doctor them up a bit and help this classic barbecue side dish stand out. Try sautéing some onions and green pepper, season them with salt, pepper and a little cumin and chili pepper and then add in the baked beans until everything is warmed up and ready to serve.
If you want to really kick things up – brown some spicy ground Italian sausage (we’re partial to our Coborn’s brand in our stores and from CobornsDelivrs) along with the onion and peppers, add in the spices and the beans and heat everything on medium-low until it’s hot enough to serve!
This recipe for doctoring up baked beans is amazing – thanks to cooking the onion and peppers in bacon drippings and baking everything together with layers of bacon on top. These baked beans are delicious and will wow the crowd at your next barbecue or potluck dinner.
Make Your Own Baked Beans
If you want to try making your own baked beans – here’s a great recipe for them. This is a slow process – and one that your slow cooker or Crock Pot is perfect for. This recipe for Slow Cooked Boston Baked Beans is simple and delicious – just make sure you add in time to soak the dry beans!
Slow Cooked Boston Baked Beans
Serves 5-6 as a main dish or 10-12 as a side
1 pound (2 to 2 1/4 cups) dry white beans such as Navy beans or Great Northern beans (can also use kidney beans)
1/3 cup molasses
1/3 cup brown sugar
3-4 TBSP Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
3 cups hot water
1/2 pound salt pork (can sub bacon), cut into 1/2-inch to 1-inch pieces
1 medium onion, (1 1/2 cups) chopped
Place beans in a large pot and cover with 2 inches of water. Soak overnight and drain. Alternatively, bring a pot with the beans covered with 2 inches of water to a boil, remove from heat and let soak for a hour, then drain.
Mix the molasses, brown sugar, mustard, and ground cloves with 3 cups of hot water.
Line the bottom of a slow-cooker (or a Dutch oven if you are cooking in the oven) with half of the salt pork (pick the fattiest pieces). Layer over with half of the drained beans. Add all of the onions in a layer, then top with another layer of beans and the remaining salt pork. Pour the molasses water mixture over the beans to just cover the beans.
Cover and cook in a slow-cooker on the low setting for 8 hours (or in a 250°F oven), until the beans are tender. Check the water level a few hours in, and if the beans need more water, add some. Add additional salt to taste if needed. Note that fresher beans will cook faster than older beans. Your beans may be ready in less than 8 hours, or they may take longer. Best the next day.
What’s your favorite way to cook baked beans? Do you make your own or take the help from the grocery store?
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If you want to save time on grocery shopping in the Twin Cities – CobornsDelivers can help by delivering groceries to your door! We deliver fresh-cut produce, restaurant-quality meats, straight from the farm dairy and a full line of national and store brand grocery and household products — not to mention a hand-picked selection of wine, beer and spirits — to homes and businesses throughout the Twin Cities.