Bacon grease! OK, just thought I’d say it right up front so you’d know the secret to these fabulously delicious baked beans.
According to the notes on my recipe card, I first sampled this frantastic bean dish at a 4th of July cookout in 1990(!) at my sister’s house. My sister-in-law’s sister Lisa brought along her mom-in-law Louise—and Louise brought the beans! One bite was all it took me to ask for the recipe. Lisa mailed it to me with a note saying, “So easy that even I, “Lucy Ricardo,” can make it. Don’t you just love family favorite recipes that get passed along like that?
The recipe is as simple as it is mouthwateringly good. As I told you from the git-go, the secret is sautéing the onions in bacon grease. Now before you panic and go all healthy on me, I should tell you that you use a slotted spoon to remove the sautéed onions and leave a portion of the bacon grease behind. How much is up to you. I just scoop up the onions with my slotted spoon without squeezing any excess bacon grease out. There is just enough bacon grease to add the “wow” factor to the beans.
These beans show up on a cookout table somewhat incognito. To look at them, all you see are what look like ordinary brown beans sitting in a casserole dish. Once you taste them, however, you will discover that they are far from ordinary.
I made Louise’s baked beans to bring to a friend’s house for a cookout this Memorial Day weekend. I was not at all surprised to be asked for the recipe (should have brought a copy). They are root, toot, tootin’ good! (And, yes, I’m having a little fun!)
One year ago: Macadamia Double Decker Brownie Bars
Two years ago: BBQ Spare Ribs
Louise’s Baked Beans
- 2 large cans Campbell’s pork and beans (approx. 4 lbs. – see notes)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (I use light brown sugar)
- 1/2 cup dark molasses
- 4 tsp. mustard (I used Dijon–I’ve also used Gulden’s)
- 8 slices of bacon
- 2 large yellow onions, chopped
Combine pork and beans, brown sugar, molasses and mustard in a large ovenproof casserole dish.
Brown bacon; remove to paper towels. Sauté onions in bacon grease until softened. Remove onions with slotted spoon. Add to casserole dish. Crumble bacon and add to casserole dish.
Stir ingredients to mix.
Cover and bake at 350o for 1 hour. Remove cover and bake for another hour.
- I couldn’t find the large cans of Campbell’s pork and beans when I shopped at two different supermarkets. I ended up buying six of the smaller 11-oz. cans for a total of 66 oz. of beans.
- Don’t be misled by the size of the casserole dish shown in the photo. I divided the beans into two 2-qt. casserole dishes. This recipe makes enough for a crowd, so be sure to use a very large casserole dish or use two medium-sized casserole dishes.
Source: My sister-in-law’s sister’s mother-in-law Louise!