Can you believe that this coming weekend is Memorial Day? I seriously cannot. As much as I am looking forward to summer, I am in shock that it has actually arrived. This year has flown by and I fear that I will remain in a perpetual state of “catch-up.”
Right now I am focused on the three weeks ahead that include our baby’s 10th birthday (a big deal in our house which is crowned with a 100+ page “first decade” photo book–thankfully in production at Shutterfly) and our daughter’s graduation from elementary school with the unavoidable trajectory into tweendom.
I am so not on the ball that I was going to post a vegetable side dish this morning–albeit a delicious one–until my mother said, “But for Memorial Day weekend, why don’t you do your baked beans?” I replied, “No, no, I already have a plan and a post,” but as with every “suggestion” that my mother makes, I just couldn’t shake the thought.
So here you go Mom, you were right. The world needs fabulous Baked Beans for the upcoming holiday weekend BBQs. This one works especially well because the usual sweetness is cut by the sharp tang of vinegar. I brought these beans in my big red Le Creuset dutch oven to a party not too long ago. With a quick reheat on the hosts’ stove, they were a great addition to the hamburger and hot dog buffet. Enjoy and Happy Memorial Day Weekend!
- 5 bacon slices
- 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 Tbls dry mustard
- 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 3/4 c ketchup
- 1/3 c apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 c molasses
- 1/3 c water, plus more if needed
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 15.5-ounce can red kidney beans, rinsed, drained
- 1 15.5-ounce can black beans, rinsed, drained
- 1 15.5-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed, drained
- 1 tsp hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Cook bacon in heavy large ovenproof pot over medium heat until crisp.
- Using tongs, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Crumble bacon and reserve.
- Add onion to drippings in pot and sauté until almost tender, about 5 minutes.
- Add dry mustard and thyme and stir 1 minute.
- Mix in ketchup, vinegar, molasses, 1/3 cup water, bay leaf and all drained beans.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Cover pot and bake bean mixture in the oven for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding more water if mixture seems dry.
- Mix bacon into beans. Bake 15 minutes longer.
- Discard bay leaf. Mix in hot pepper sauce and serve.
- The original recipe was written with 1/2 cup vinegar which I followed and enjoyed--but I really like acidity in my food. The next time I made these beans, I reduced the vinegar to 1/4 cup as many reviewers on epicurious suggested. The beans were fine but I missed some of the tang. Turns out that 1/3 cup vinegar is a happy medium but if you like more or less sharpness, feel free to adjust.