Home > Happy Memorial Day Cooking

Happy Memorial Day Cooking

May 31st, 2010 at 01:22 pm

Ah, itís Memorial Day - the unofficial kickoff to summer. People hope to fire up their grills and cook out and eat those foods they associate with summer.

If you have been watching the television ads, many show a staple of cook outs and that is baked beans. I know the grocery store ads had a well known brand on sale. And one brand even has a special grilling brand of them.

A few years ago I ran across a recipe for wonderful baked beans. It really isnít that much cheaper to make them if you get the others on sale, but they have a better flavor and are worth the trouble. However, if the items in this list are already in your pantry, it might be more economical. I let mine bake uncovered until the sides start to caramelize and boy, are they delicious! They really arenít a lot of work, just take a little planning, and you have homemade baked beans.

Baked Beans

Ĺ lb of dried navy beans Ė picked over and soaked overnight in water to cover and then drained
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 slice of bacon, chopped
1 cup of ketchup
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large stalk of celery, chopped
Ĺ cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup of yellow mustard
1 teaspoon of black pepper

Drain the beans and then put in a pan with plenty of water and cook until beans are tender, for about an hour. Drain the beans, but reserve the cooking liquid.

Preheat the oven to 350.
Heat the olive oil in a pan or large ovenproof pot or Dutch oven. When oil is hot, add the bacon, onions, and celery and pepper. When onions and celery are translucent, add the ketchup, mustard, and brown sugar and stir together. Turn off heat and add beans, stirring carefully. Add the cooking liquid until the mixture is a little bit soupy Ė otherwise it will dry out when you bake it. You will have to basically eye ball how much liquid you will need.

Bake in the oven proof pot or Dutch oven uncovered for almost two hours or until it starts to caramelize at the sides. If it has dried out during the baking, stir in more cooking liquid to keep it moist.

If you havenít made your own before you might think this is hard, but other than the initial chopping and cooking the onion and celery and keeping an eye on it when it is baking, it really isnít difficult and it is flavorful. Iím sure you could experiment with different types of mustards or even onions and if you like some heat, could add cayenne pepper instead of black pepper. Anyway you try it, you can make it your own.

Besides, wouldn't it be nice to impress your friends and family and say you made it yourself?

3 Responses to “Happy Memorial Day Cooking”

  1. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    Is it a fallen nation that no longer knows how to cooks beans? What would my farming and pioneering great-great grandparents think?!

    The tiniest drop of liquid smoke --if you aren't afraid of it-- would be good in this recipe.

  2. NJDebbie Says:

    Thanks for the recipe. I'll try soon! I'm just getting over a stomach virus so there will be no bbq in my house today. ;(

  3. rob62521 Says:

    NJ Debbie -- sorry you've been ill. Hope you recover quickly.

    Joan -- you have a super suggestion -- thanks!

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