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Any time I start writing about a recipe, I convince myself I need to keep it short and to the point. I hate scrolling through pages of a back story to get to the recipe. I will be brief with this. Aunt Bea was my mom’s aunt, and she passed away in 2004. I don’t remember a lot about Aunt Bea, other than her kindness. One additional thing I remember is the baked beans that were on the hot plate at every family gathering. My Aunt Jan gave me the recipe for the delicious baked beans a couple years ago, so we could make them at an event, where they were very well received. I decided it was time to make them with our own pork today.
I did modify the recipe ever so slightly, and I hope my family can forgive me. I reduced the sugar, and used apple cider vinegar instead of plain white vinegar. I also modified the cooking method to account for how fatty our bacon is sometimes.
- 1 pound smoked bacon
- 2 onions, chopped
- 4 cans (15.5 oz each) white beans, we used Cannellini
- 1 quart canned tomato sauce, we used home canned, but store bought is fine
- 1⁄2 cup loosely packed brown sugar, to taste
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tbsp yellow mustard, to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
To begin, open up that pack of pasture raised bacon you got from us (hopefully!) and enjoy that smoky smell. If you got bacon from elsewhere, you may find you need a little more of the seasonings to get enough flavor. Pre-heat your oven to 325F.
Chop the slices of bacon, and throw them in a heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven, over medium-high heat. Cook the bacon for a couple minutes. If you got a particularly fatty pack of bacon, you can scoop out some of the fat and use it to cook something else in. This is totally optional. Add the chopped onions, and cook until softened slightly, just a few minutes.
Add in beans, tomato sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, mustard, and some salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly so everything is distributed evenly. Put it in the oven, uncovered, for 2 hours. After 2 hours, remove and allow to cool. Taste, and add salt and pepper if desired. If your bacon is not flavorful enough, your beans may benefit from the addition of a little bit of liquid smoke, or Worcestershire sauce.
Serve it in a bowl. Or portion it out and freeze it. These beans are incredibly easy to put together, and can feed a crowd. If you are on a budget, double the amount of beans, and it will still be just as good. Enjoy.
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