Nothing in the world sounds as soul-warming to this cook as a delicious pan of beans. The title of the recipe will sound a bit ‘northern’ to many readers. In Minnesota the word, ‘hot dish’ means a casserole. I know, sorta’ different for those born and raised in the Midwest. If there’s a decent pan of baked beans within a few miles I am sure to find it! My mother may remember when my sister and I would have a campfire at the edge of Grandma & Grandpa Richardson’s garden. We would heat a can of VandeCamps and eat it like cowboys, right out of the can. Then there was bean and bacon soup by Campbell’s; that too, was one of my favorites. (Now I can’t believe I ate that bean soup!)
For a good pan of baked beans my family has a few pre-requisites:
1. Oven baked, no crock pots—too runny!
2. Phillip, our son says they must contain sausage, hamburger, pulled pork or
bacon, in that order.
3. Debbie says they must be cooked down so there’s no running juices
on the plate. A quick check-in with my spouse, Ervin, he agrees, his
top requirement is they can’t be runny!
4. Chopped onions are a must and sometimes I like to include fruit.
5. Lastly a good pan of baked beans is a main entrée if they’re hearty.
If the bean entrée thing is just too much you might off-set the wind effect by eating a green salad before the meal. Greens help with the digestion of the mighty bean.
I encourage folks to get creative with baked beans. There are lots of different sauces available if you implement bbq sauce in the recipe. You don’t have to buy pre-canned beans, save by cooking the beans yourself. Which is what I do in this recipe.
We are quickly running through the month of July & it’s good to be thinking ahead. Some rainy afternoon try canning a few jars of beans for the winter. I hate to brag, but my home canned beans are so yummy you can eat them right out of the canning jar. Yes, they have meat in them too!
I recently prepared a big batch of cucumbers from my parent’s garden, back in Lewistown, Missouri. My assistant and I also canned a cucumber marinate that’s going to be wonderful any time we need a quick salad. What’s next in that department? I thought you would never ask. I’m planning on making watermelon rind pickles this week. I haven’t made them for about 30 years. You have to have melons with thick rinds and I am fortunate to have found them.
I’ve also been canning interesting dishes at the culinary school: Pork Posole, Beef Barley Soup, Blueberry pancake syrup and Mango salsa. This winter is looking mighty fine I say, mighty fine.
If someone offers you fresh garden products just give me a call. I’m sure to have an idea on how to make those fruits and vegetables into something delicious.
Enjoy my hearty bean hot dish. Keep sharing the love from your kitchens!
Simply yours, The Covered Dish. www.thecovereddish.com
Bean Hot Dish
1 lb. pinto beans
1 lb. navy beans
Water to cover beans overnight, then drain
1 tablespoon Liquid smoke, organic is best without Nitrates
1 tablespoon maple extract
2 tablespoons no sodium beef stock
6 cups water
1 lb. pork sausage, reserve any dripping, drain
½ cup chopped sweet white onion
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 Gala apples, chopped fine
1/2 cup raisins, chopped, if large
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/4 cups bourbon flavored bbq sauce
1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4-1 cup pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium onion, chopped very fine
1/2 cup broken pieces of pecan
Sort through dry beans the day before making. Place in a large bowl and cover with water 2-3 inches over the top. Allow to set overnight or 8 hours.
The next day drain the beans and combine with the liquid smoke, extract, beef stock and 6 cups of water. Place inside a pressure cooker. On the T-Fal cooker set on level two, seal the lid and place over medium high heat until the top begins to spew. At this time lower the temperature to low/medium low and keep spewing for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and release steam slowly. When red lock button drops it is safe to open.
While the beans are cooking cook the sausage and 1/2 cup onion together in saucepan, draining.
If the beans sit for a bit you will find it unnecessary to drain any extra juice from the beans. Continue down the list stirring in all the ingredients from the sausage and onion to the maple syrup. Stir to blend. Pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Melt * 1 tablespoon of butter in sausage pan and cook onion until it’s close to caramelizing and add the broken pecan pieces. Cook basically to heat, cool slightly and sprinkle over the top of the beans. Usually I have about 2 cups of beans that won’t fit in the pan! So, if you have a rather large baking dish just above a standard 9 x 13 baking dish, I would use it.
*If sausage had lots of drippings the butter may not be necessary.