(photo found on the web)
when i would see this can of beans out i knew dinner was going to be good.. in the bottom part was the beans and the top was a separate can of "special sauce".. i was so enthralled with this special sauce.. i wouldn't let my mom buy any other baked beans because in my mind if it didn't have this separate can of sauce it wasn't going to be any good.. now that i am an adult i realize the special, life altering sauce was basically ketchup, brown sugar and some seasonings..but back then it held magical summer powers.. and we would eat outside as a family on the back patio then go for a swim after dinner and getting to stay up ohh so very late.. (well 9:00 but it felt like really late..) this can of beans holds so many great memories.. ha kinda funny if you think about.. but when i grew up and moved out of the house at the ripe ole age of 19 i wanted to make dinners like my mom made.. and serving burgers on the back patio with big john's beans was just one way i could accomplish this task.. unfortunately about a year after marriage i couldn't find them anymore :( i was so sad.. i know what your thinking this chick is c r a z y.. but these beans meant alot to me.. *awkward smile* :/ .. now faced with the prospect of never having that feeling that baked beans obviously gave me i had to resort to making my own.. and i've been doing that ever since.. it's evolved, morphed, changed over the last 27 years many many times.. and this version here is what i've been making lately.. but check back with me by the end of the summer i am sure it will have change again..
prep time: 15 minutes
cook time: 1-2 hours
1 slice of bacon cut into lardons
1/2 small onion, minced
1 (16 oz) can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup ketchup (or sometimes i use chili sauce)
1 to 2 tblsp. of brown sugar (depending on how sweet you like it)
1/2 tblsp. worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. liquid smoke
1 tsp. tobasco
1 tsp. mustard
1/2 tsp. pepper
preheat your oven to 325 degrees (f).. meanwhile cook your bacon in a small non stick pan over medium high heat until just cooked through (you don't want it crumbly).. remove bacon from pan and transfer to a paper towel lined plate.. remove most of the bacon drippings but a small amount.. cook onions until tender.. remove onions and transfer to the plate with the bacon.. in a casserole dish add your beans, bacon, onions and all the remaining ingredients and mix well.. cover and bake between 1-2 hours.. check on it the after an hour..(sometimes i am craving really sweet beans so i add more brown sugar or brown sugar and honey.. sometimes spicy and i add more tobasco..) i love to take fresh baked rolls and open one up and spoon my beans into the center and eat them that way.. make some this weekend.. grill up some burgers.. and sit on your back patio and create memories!