Barbecue Baked Beans

Epic stuff that starts with ‘B.’  Ready, set, go:

Bread, bubbles, bundt cakes, babies, brownies, Best Buy, brunch, ballerinas, bakeries, bourbon, bold font, bobble heads

Barbecue Baked Beans…     triple whammy.

Hear me here, here me now–      Baked beans are the bomb.

A heaping helping of the times I hanker for comfort food, my belly brain jumps straight to good ol’ southern sides.

I’m talking a deep dish of bodacious baked beans, slaw, cornbread  and maybe throw in some form of a tater.
Stick me in with a spread of that magnitude, and you’ve got one chipper chiackdee on your hands.

So why I didn’t put this recipe into immediate practice when coming across it forever and a day ago…       I’ve no earthly idea.

What else is new?

Now, if you foster the burning desire to undergo all the dry bean-soaking, strictly from scratch, baking of the beans nostalgia… go for it bro. It’s all you.

However, this canned pork-n-bean-based version carves a significantly less demanding, yet exceptionally satisfying path to a batch of thick and hearty, southern-style baked beans that’s just a bursting with barbecue body.

Like bam.

And please don’t hesitate to bulk those beans up a bit more with a little beef.
I tossed in some cubed, day-old round steak. Ground beef would be dandy too. Or pork. Whatever.

Moral being, meaty means mighty.

Rawr.

Reflecting on my devout adoration for baked beans, I can’t help but contemplate the inevitable evolution of one’s tastes over the years. It’s funny, right?

Like back in the day when you (or maybe your kid) were set on having a solid wardrobe stemming from the brawny arms of Hollister & Abercrombie & Fitch.
As in, there was gonna be a 12-year-old diva tantrum until Mama took those bogus hot pink jeans back to JC Penny and took your bratty child butt on over to one of the tween clothing caves…
where you can convince your parents  to spend too much for poorly made garments because their senses are dulled by dim lighting, blaring pop remixes and a barrage of Fierce cologne.

Yeah, not cute. Just an example.

I don’t know what I’d do with myself if someone plopped me down in an A&F today and commanded that I shop.

I guess those giant, black-and-white, hot boy model cut-outs might be for sale?

But anyway, once upon a time,  there was yet another tragic stage of my life when any level of sweet + savory was so beyond not welcome on my plate.
Anything with BBQ sauce was a big fat bold font NO.
No baked beans.
No barbecue potato chips.
No honey baked ham or even sweet potatoes for that matter.
Oh, and items along the lines of bbq pulled pork, bbq chicken, bbq ribs, etc. were especially blasphemous.

My childhood carnivorous philosophy read: “meat should not be sweet.”

Oh for the love of legumes, little Darcy thought that one was incredibly witty.

Thank the sweet Lord above our tastes change

A baked beanless life in a moose shirt is hardly worth living.

Barbecue Baked Beans
recipe by Pam Anderson, via The Pioneer Woman

Serves up to 18

8 slices bacon, halved

1 medium onion, cut into small dice

1/2 medium green pepper, cut into small dice

3 large cans (28 ounces each) pork and beans

3/4 cup barbecue sauce

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup distilled or cider vinegar

2 teaspoons dry mustard or 2 tablespoons Dijon

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Fry bacon in large, deep sauté pan skillet until bacon has partially cooked and released about 1/4 cup drippings. Remove bacon from pan and drain on paper towels. Add onions and peppers to drippings in pan and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add beans and remaining ingredients bring to a simmer. (If skillet is not large enough, add beans and heat to a simmer then transfer to a large bowl and stir in remaining ingredients). Pour flavored beans into a greased 13-by 9-inch (or similar size) ovenproof pan. Top with bacon, then bake until beans are bubbly and sauce is the consistency of pancake syrup, about 2 hours. Let stand to thicken slightly and serve.

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