Start with soaked and drained dried navy beans for this hearty baked bean dish and add flavor with onion, bell pepper, bacon, molasses, and mustard. The long baking time at a low temperature increases the flavor and thickens the saucy bean mixture.
1 pound dried navy beans (about 2 cups)
Vegetable cooking spray
2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
4 cups water
1/2 cup molasses
1/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
5 bacon slices, cut crosswise into thin strips
How to Make It
Sort and wash beans, and place in a large ovenproof Dutch oven. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans, and bring to a boil; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 1 hour.
Drain beans in a colander, and set aside. Coat pan with cooking spray, and place over medium-high heat until hot. Add onion and bell pepper, and sauté for 7 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat, and stir in the beans, 4 cups water, and the remaining ingredients. Cover and bake at 325° for 2 1/2 hours. Uncover and bake for an additional 1 1/2 hours or until the sauce thickens, stirring occasionally.
Note: To soak beans before cooking, sort and wash beans, and place in a large ovenproof Dutch oven. Cover with water to 2 inches ablove beans; cover and let stand 8 hours. Drain in a colander.
This is the only Baked Bean recipe I have used since it appeared in Cooking Light back in 1995. My only variation is that I do not always use the green peppers; I come from the East Coast originally and green peppers are not part of the the traditional Baked Beans served every Saturday night when I was a kid growing up. These beans are juicy and flavourful and worth buying a bean crock for. The tiny bits of bacon are a great substitute for salt pork.
One tip that is in the recipe is essential - navy beans need to be boiled, then soaked. Don;t make the mistake of just soaking them, like one would do with the slightly larger yellow eye beans.that are also often used to make Baked Beans.
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