Baked Beans and Some Variations

Summer is coming up, and there are a few foods that get me in the mood. One is baked beans and the other is potato salad. I will be sharing some great baked bean recipes today, and then on Saturday, some different variations on potato salad.To accomplish this crazy task of cooking through my great grandmothers cook book, I have taken to making huge quantities of a specific item.  Then I can make all of the variations. 
Doing so has created a great deal of work for me, but it is nice to get a huge portion of the book done, have left overs to freeze, and come up with some great tasting recipes. I have taken the basics from my great grandmothers book, and run with some of them.  Old time cooking is all about using what you have, not making fifty trips to the grocery store to get the exact items in the recipe.

 I have really taken this mindset to heart, and created a great set of recipes for baked beans.

I started my Saturday by preparing four pounds of dried kidney beans and two pounds of pinto beans.  Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it?  I followed the directions on the package for the quick method.  Bring to a fast boil, let set for one hour, then simmer from about two.  I liked this method!  I did not have to wait overnight and I was able to do all of the prep work for the five different baked bean recipes I was going to make.  The beans seemed to be cooked in no time because I was so busy.

Next, I made the sauce for the baked beans.  My great grandmother has a great sauce recipe, but I decided to add a bit more seasonings.  We are a spicy family.  I made this sauce in bulk for all the other recipes, but I will give the recipe for one dish.  That way, you are not making six cups for two cups of beans!

Original Sauce Recipe                                                       My Variation
2 cups catsup                                                                    2 cups catsup                                        
1cup brown sugar                                                             3 tablespoons mustard
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce                                  3 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
3 teaspoons mustard                                                         1 cup brown sugar
                                                                                        1 tablespoon vinegar
                                                                                        To taste: celery salt
                                                                                                      garlic powder
                                                                                                      chili powder
                                                                                                      salt and pepper

Original Baked Bean Recipe

3 cups navy beans-I used 2 cups pinto ( I like pinto beans better in this recipe)
Mix with sauce above
Chopped onion
2-3cups water ( I did not add any since the pinto beans were completely cooked through already.)
Chopped up four slices of uncooked bacon, add to mixture

Cook until set at low temperature.  My low temperature was 300 and they cooked for about 2 1/2 hours.

Now here are some variations you can try.  Now keep in mind with the following recipes, they used canned beans and allowed that to be the sauce.  I chose to use dry beans with the sauce above, then made my own variation to them.  I will put the original first, and place what I did next to it.

Baked Beans with Ground Beef

1 pound ground beef cooked slowly until white in color
1/2 cup finely chopped onion-I sauteed the onion in butter
1 can pork and beans-2 cups kidney beans
1/2 cup ketchup-I placed two cups of the above sauce in the mixture
2 tablespoons vinegar-there was already vinegar in the sauce above
To Taste add salt, pepper and Tabasco
I added 1 tablespoon crushed garlic

Combine all the above ingredients in a casserole dish. If you make them with the canned beans, cook at 350 for 30 minutes.  Dried beans, 300 for 3 hours, maybe even a little longer.  You must add water throughout this time!  Kidney beans cook a little differently than the pinto beans.  I added about 3 more cups of water during the cooking time.

Maple Sweet Fruited Beans

1 can baked beans- 2 cups kidney beans
Add 2 cups of the above sauce
1/2 cup bacon bits-I fried up bacon chopped and placed in mixture
1/2 cup seedless raisins
1/4 cup real maple syrup-don’t use that fake stuff!
1 can apricot halves drained-I did not have apricot halves, but I did have peaches.  I cut the peaches into smaller bite size chunks.  I did not drain the syrup, but instead, added it to the sauce.
Also added-1/2 cup of sauteed onion
1 tablespoon garlic

Combine the ingredients in a casserole.  If you are making these with the can it is 350 for 25 minutes.  Dried beans 300 for 3 hours, adding water throughout. ( About three cups or even more to keep the beans moist)

Yankee Baked Beans

1 can baked beans-2 cups kidney beans
2 tablespoons chili sauce-2 cups of the above sauce
1/4 cup drained sweet pepper relish- Instead I sauteed red and yellow bell peppers in butter then added 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar and allowed that to cook down
1/4 cup onion-I sauteed with above bell peppers
2 tablespoons chopped green pepper-I added instead red cayenne peppers chopped.  Definitely more spice!
I also added 1 tablespoon garlic

Add above ingredients in a casserole.  If cooking with canned beans, cook at 325 for 25 minutes.  Dried beans 300 for 3 hours adding water throughout to keep the beans moist. (three cups)

Finally Sausage and Apple Beans
1 can baked beans-2 cups kidney beans
2 cups of the above sauce
2 cups sliced canned apples-I used fresh apples
1/4 keep real maple syrup
1 package of brown and serve sausage links-I used maple sausage crumbled
I also added 1 tablespoon garlic

Combine the above ingredients in a casserole.  If using a can bake a t 350 for 25-30 minutes.  Dried beans bake at 300 for 3 hours adding water throughout to keep the beans moist. (about 3 cups)

There you have it guys!  Different variations for baked beans! Our families favorites?  The fruited baked beans and the ground beef recipe!  I hope you try one and tell me what you think!

Have a wonderful day!

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