It's hard to imagine a picnic or family gathering without baked beans This dish is served across the country

September 30, 1992|By Renee Clark | Renee Clark,Dallas Morning News

For all our celebrated food differences, Americans have some foods in common: baked beans, for example. They appear automatically at any picnic or potluck dinner, whether anyone is assigned to bring them or not.

2 This recipe is from "The New Basics" cookbook.

All-American baked beans

Serves 10 to 12.

1 pound dried navy or great northern beans, or 2 (16-ounce) cans pork and beans, drained, liquid reserved

8 ounces slab smoked bacon, cut into 1/4 -inch cubes

1 cup chopped onions

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar, packed

2 cups ketchup

6 tablespoons maple syrup

6 tablespoons dark molasses

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Rinse and pick through beans; soak overnight in a large pot of water. Rinse the soaked beans well under the cold water and place in a heavy saucepan. Cover with water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Drain, reserving cooking liquid.

Heat oven to 300 degrees. Place a 2-quart flameproof casserole or Dutch oven over medium heat and saute the bacon until it is slightly crisp and fat is rendered, about 5 minutes. Add onions and garlic; cook until wilted, 5 to 10 minutes.

Add brown sugar and stir over medium-low heat until sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Stir in ketchup, syrup, molasses, Worcestershire, salt and pepper. Add Cover casserole and transfer to oven. Bake, stirring occasionally (making sure you scrape the bottom of the casserole), for 2 1/2 hours. Add 3/4 cup of the reserved bean liquid. Re-cover and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until sauce is thick and syrupy, another 10 to 15 minutes, stirring once. Serve hot.

Universal Press Syndicate

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