When it comes to baked beans, you can go the full monty starting with dry beans and cook them completely from scratch (like Boston Baked Beans), which takes all day. Or you can start with already cooked canned beans or pressure-cooked beans, which reduces the cooking time to a little over an hour.
This recipe is for canned beans, a "quick" version of baked beans using three different types of beans—kidney beans, black beans, and cannellini beans. My father adapted this recipe from one in an old issue of Bon Appétit magazine years ago.
It has a tangy, rich flavor from the vinegar, molasses, and bacon and is a cinch to put together. A great side for pork or steak.
Three Bean Baked Beans
- 1/4 pound sliced bacon
- 2 cups chopped onion
- 1 Tbsp dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoons dry thyme)
- 3/4 cup ketchup
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup dark molasses
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 15-ounce can red kidney beans, rinsed, drained
- 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed, drained
- 1 15-ounce can cannellini (white kidney beans), rinsed, drained
- 1 teaspoon Tabasco
- Freshly ground black pepper
Cook and crumble the bacon
Cook the bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until browned and crisp. Remove bacon and place on paper towels to soak up excess fat. Crumble up the bacon and set aside.
Sauté the onions
Remove all but a tablespoon of the bacon drippings from the pot. Add the chopped onions and cook on medium high heat until translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add the rest of the ingredients
Sprinkle the onions with dry mustard and thyme. Stir in the ketchup, vinegar, molasses, bay leaf, beans, Tabasco, and water. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Cover and bake
Cover the pot and put into a 350°F oven. Bake for 1 hour, checking every 15 minutes to stir and add more water if needed. Stir in the bacon the last 15 minutes of cooking.
Alternatively, cook in a slow cooker 4 hours on high, or 8 on low.
Discard bay leaf before serving.
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit magazine.