Skip the can. Make your own, sweet, savory, and bacon filled Homemade Baked Beans and Bacon and never go back to the store bought beans again!
I love family style pot-luck dinners. Love. It’s the perfect blend of my favorite things in the world: loved ones, feeding people, and the gathering of the two. We used to host quite a few Sunday Family Dinners at our house, but it became a bit too much for us to handle on such a consistent basis. Between all the prep of the house and the food, the expense of said food, and the cleaning up afterwards of all dishes without a dishwasher, we burned ourselves out of hosting. We did go a little nuts last year by hosting Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, and New Years at our house. This holiday season, we’re taking a break from hosting large parties. But, my love for family style dinners remains. So the solution? Pass the torch to other households. I am more than happy cook and even clean up at someone else’s home (especially if they have a dishwasher I can drool over) and our little big-brother was happy to host a Sunday BBQ Potluck. Yay!On the list for us to bring: Baked Beans. To which my studly husband was super excited about making. He’s had this recipe up his sleeve since his teens when he worked in a little hole in the wall restaurant in Buffalo, NY called Bob and Johns. The bean of choice: Navy aka Great Northern Beans. So, the night before we re-hydrated about 2 lbs of dried beans to be ready the next day.Now here’s where (one of) the secrets to these beans amazingness comes in. Before cooking the beans, we first put a few slices of bacon, some diced onion, and a ham hock into a pot and let them cook together and release some fat and grease.Then, we tossed in the beans with just enough water to cover them, and of course the ham hock deliciousness still in there to keep adding flavor. We brought the water to a boil, then lowered the temp and let them simmer for about 45 minutes.While the beans cooked, we whipped up the sauce. Essentially a BBQ sauce: 1 cup ketchup, 1 tsp mustard powder, dash liquid smoke, 1 cup brown sugar, and 1/4 cup of molasses.While the beans continued to cook, I just par-cooked the bacon and then sauteed up the rest of the diced onion with some of the bacon fat. ‘Cause, y’all, these are authentic baked beans… that my husband learned to make from the head cook who was a Native American dude… Ok, maybe not authentic Southern baked beans, but hell, anything with this much pork fat has to be at least honorary southern, right?Once 1/2 of the water was cooked off, we added the sauce and the bacon fat onion and let it cook on medium low or another 30 minutes.Then, into a large baking dish for the final baking of the baked beans! With bacon on top, duh.After an hour at 350 degrees in the oven: Baked Beans with Bacon!Crispy salty bacon on top of soft and delicious BBQ flavored beans. Oh yah, and see the ham hock in the corner? That little flavor bomb stays in the dish the entire cooking process, even the final bake.So in the end, we’re left with these BBQ flavored baked beans; the perfect side to our Sunday BBQ Pot Luck! Even better, I think this’ll make a great dish to bring to Fiesta Friday this week!
- 2 lbs of navy beans
- 1 ham hock
- 1 lb of bacon
- 1 white onion, diced
- 1 cup of ketchup
- 1 cup of dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup of molasses
- 1 teaspoon of mustard powder
- 1-2 dashes of liquid smoke
- Or, you can use a 1 1/2 cups of a BBQ sauce instead
- Re-hydrate beans by soaking them in water overnight.
- The next day, in a large pot on medium heat add 2 slices of bacon and ham hock with 1/2 of the diced onion. Cook for about 10 minutes until fats have been released. Then add beans, fill pot with water so the beans are just covered, and bring water to a boil. Make sure the Once water boils, reduce heat and let simmer for 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a saute pan, par-cook the rest of the bacon on medium for about 5 minutes. Add some of the bacon grease to another pan and saute remaining onion. Set back and onion aside.
- Mix ketchup, mustard powder, molasses, sugar, and liquid smoke in a bowl.
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. When the water in the beans has reduced by half, add the ketchup mixture (or a pre-made BBQ sauce) and the bacon fat onions and mix well. Cook on medium low for 30 minutes.
- In a large baking dish, pour in beans (and ham hock) and cover with par-cooked bacon. Bake for 1 hour or until the bacon is nice and crispy.
- Serve and enjoy!