baked beans & a southern style feast

The September issue of Food & Wine is dedicated to the food and restaurants from our beloved Southern states. I quickly decided that a Southern feast was in order: pulled pork, baked beans (home-made) and coleslaw. The taster much prefers these simple meat and (you fill in the blank) meals over sweets, tofu, vegetables essentially anything. Needless to say, he was very happy with dinner.

The pork was simple. A trip to the farmers market for organic fed pork, a crock pot and a bottle of Creamy Dark was all it took. Topped with a traditional South Carolina BBQ Sauce, a mustard-based sauce, and I swear we were transported straight to the South.

The baked beans though, oh those baked beans. I’ve never made baked beans before, but I won’t be going back to canned ones now. I can’t. Sweet red onion, smoky bacon, creamy beans and tangy BBQ flavor. Dare I say they are the best beans I’ve had to date? They certainly were the star of the meal in my opinion.

Baked Beans - 4 servings

  • 2 Tbsp BBQ sauce
  • 2Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 slices bacon
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups beans (I used a mix of kidney and navy beans)

Preheat oven to 400°.

Prepare sauce: combine BBQ sauce, vinegar, sugar and mustard. Stir until mixture is smooth.

Cook bacon until crispy and set aside.

Add chopped onion and minced garlic to pan and heat, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.

Add beans and sauce, stir and remove from heat.

Pour bean mixture into baking dish. Sprinkle 2 Tbsp water into dish. Crumble bacon pieces over top and bake for about 15 minutes.

Make them as a decadent yet nutritious side dish to some BBQ meat, or BBQ tofu, depending on your household preferences. :)