Baked beans are perfect for a day when you're holed up inside (we are watching the Rose Bowl - go Badgers!) and can have a pot of beans simmering on the stove for several hours. This is delicious as is, but you can also add bacon if you like, but I'm trying to be a teeny bit healthier :) Feel free to add bacon though - it will add a nice smokiness. Also, if you like them a little tangier, add a little more cider vinegar. You can also add more pepper to give it a little more kick.
Also, it will really depend on your beans, the type, how fresh or old they are, on how long it will take for them to get tender. It can take anywhere from 3-1/2 or 6 hours even so give yourself plenty of time, or plan on making them to serve the next day. You can also cook the beans with just water, bay leaf and the ham hock for the first 2 hours and then add all the rest of the ingredients to speed up the cooking process. The salt and vinegar and ketchup and everything will slow down the cooking time and will make it take longer to cook the beans.
You can cook your beans on the stovetop, or in the oven for the "baked" part of your baked beans :)
(makes about 8 servings)
- 1 lb. beans of your choice - pinto, roman, cranberry
- 1 ham hock, or Smithfield makes a package of three thin slices of ham hock - I used two slices and threw the other slice in the freezer for another time
- 1 Tbsp. veg or olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1-1/3 cup ketchup
- 2/3 cup dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. kosher salt, more to taste
- 1 tsp. ground pepper
In a heavy pot or dutch oven, heat up your oil over medium high heat. Add onions with a pinch of salt and saute for a few minutes. Add your garlic and saute with onions for a few more minutes.
Add the ingredients from the ketchup down and mix together. Add the beans and ham hock, and add enough water to cover the beans by about 1-1/2 inches. Bring everything to a simmer, cover, reduce heat to medium low and let everything simmer for about 3-1/2 hours or more (up to 5 or 6 hours) until beans are tender, stirring occasionally. You can also pop into an oven that’s been pre-heated to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and let the beans cook in the oven for similar time until beans are tender. Add a little more water if you need it. Taste and adjust seasoning - more vinegar if you want more tanginess, more pepper for a little more of a kick, more brown sugar if you like your beans sweeter.
If you want to add bacon, you could chop up about 1/2 lb. bacon and saute with onions and garlic, and then keep going.