Baked beans summer’s favorite BBQ side dish
BATON ROUGE, La. – As families fire up barbecues for summer weekend cookouts, chances are baked beans will appear alongside whatever’s cooking on the grill.
It stands to reason pots of simmering and spicy baked beans should be summer’s savory of choice. Baking beans is easy, which makes the classic baked or barbecued beans the perfect side dish to serve with chicken, steaks, ribs and roasted vegetables.
Since grilling requires attention from the cook, it’s nice to have a repertoire of side dishes that are simple to assemble.
The Advocate’s food staff tested both recipes using dried beans that must be simmered for a couple of hours at minimum, and recipes based on canned beans. There was no appreciable difference in the taste, so we recommend going with the convenient and quick-fixing canned beans.
According to “The American Century Cookbook” by Jean Anderson, the first commercially canned pork and pea beans were done by Burnham and Morrill (B&M) of Portland, Maine, in 1927.
The Bean Education and Awareness Network says that eating beans can offer a host of health benefits, including weight loss and diabetes and heart-disease prevention. Beans are also a simple and economical way to get nutrients including protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals.
Cooks do negate some of those health benefits when they mix in ingredients like smoked bacon, ground beef or maple syrup, but if portion sizes are moderate even the fattier baked bean dishes can be enjoyed.
Notes on beans:
— A 1-pound can of cooked beans measures about 2 cups.
— Some recipes recommend rinsing and draining canned beans before using them in recipes.
— Bean dishes can be prepared ahead, refrigerated and reheated in a microwave or conventional oven.
Here are a few of the staff’s favorite baked bean recipes.
Fit for a King Baked Beans
3 slices bacon, chopped
11Ú2 cups chopped onions
3 T. minced ginger root
3 cloves garlic, minced
Four 15-ounce cans navy or great Northern beans
1Ú2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1Ú2 cup light molasses
1Ú2 cup salsa ketchup
1Ú2 cup apple cider
1 T. Dijon-style mustard
1Ú2 cup crushed gingersnaps
1Ú2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1Ú2 teaspoon ground allspice
2 bay leaves
Fry bacon until crisp in medium skillet; drain bacon thoroughly on paper towels. Discard all but 1 teaspoon bacon fat; add onions, ginger root and garlic to skillet and saute until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Mix all ingredients in 2-quart casserole. Bake, covered, at 300 F for 2 hours; bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Discard bay leaves.
Makes 8 servings.
Nutrition information per serving: 473 cal., 3 g fat, 100 g carbo., 1,134 mg sodium, 17 g pro., 2 mg chol.
2 T. olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 bell pepper, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3Ú4 pound ground round
One 1-pound, 15-ounce can pork and beans
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1Ú2 tablespoon black pepper
1Ú4 cup barbecue sauce
1Ú4 cup ketchup with Tabasco sauce
1Ú4 cup cane syrup
3Ú4 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1Ú2 teaspoon curry powder
Heat olive oil and saute onion, bell pepper and garlic in the hot olive oil until softened. Stir in ground round and continue cooking until browned.
Drain off excess grease. Stir in canned pork and beans. Mix in Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, barbecue sauce, ketchup, cane syrup, and mustard and curry powders. Simmer for an hour to meld the flavors. Serve hot. Makes 4 servings.
(Recipe from David Simmons)
Barbecued Baked Beans
One 16-ounce can pork and beans
One 16-ounce can kidney beans, drained
One 16-ounce can green lima beans, drained
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. ground cumin
2 to 3 T. strong cold coffee
1Ú4 cup brown sugar
1Ú2 cup ketchup
Pinch of oregano
Pinch sweet basil
3 strips bacon
Combine all ingredients, except bacon strips, in a greased 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Place bacon strips on top.
Cover with foil and bake at 350 F for 1 hour. Remove cover and continue baking 15 additional minutes.
Makes 10 servings.
(From “Pass the Plate,” published by The Collection from Christ Episcopal Church, New Bern, N.C.)
Baked Beans and Meat
1 pound ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1Ú2 cup brown sugar
2 T. prepared mustard
3Ú4 (14-ounce) bottle ketchup
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
Three 1-pound cans pork and beans
6 to 8 strips of bacon
Brown beef in skillet without grease. Add onion and bell pepper. Cook until tender. Add sugar, mustard, ketchup and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well with pork and beans. Pour into large greased baking dish and cover with bacon strips. Bake at 350 F for 1 hour.