Old Fashioned Molasses and Bacon Baked Beans

Old Fashioned Molasses and Bacon Baked Beans
Old Fashioned Molasses and Bacon Baked Beans
Baked beans is another family favorite in our household and we have several go-to recipes depending on what else is on the menu. Search baked beans on this website and you'll see several recipes from spicy Maple Chipotle to Baked Beans with Apple Sausage.

Today's recipe is the one we use most often though and is pretty close to how I first made them over 30 years ago. The only real difference is that I like to use smoked paprika for added smokey flavor to the beans these days but you can easily substitute regular paprika if you can't find smoked.

Be careful to use fancy molasses or light molasses in this recipe, other types like blackstrap or cooking molasses can be too strongly flavored.

This batch is also quite big and would serve a dozen people or more but we always make this large a batch to freeze them in 16 -20 ounce plastic containers to enjoy for lunch or with a great brunch for several weeks later. If you don't want to make that much, the recipe is easily halved.

We love these beans served with our favorite Apple Barbeque Pulled Pork Sandwiches. The pulled pork and the beans are slow cooked for a similar amount of time so we often have both in the oven at the same time and are guaranteed leftovers for a couple of days, so it's a great weekend cooking project.

 Begin by soaking in water overnight or up to 48hours:
  • 1 1/2 pounds dry white beans (or navy beans)
In a large skillet slowly fry:
  • 1 pound sliced smoked bacon, cut in small pieces
Completely render the fat out of the bacon, leaving it crispy. Pour off the majority of
the fat from the pan. Set the bacon aside. Return the pan to the stove over medium heat and add:
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 large red onions chopped
Cook until the onions and garlic are softened, then add:
  • 3 cups water
Let the water come to the boil to deglaze the pan. Add to a large covered roaster along
with the crisp bacon, the soaked beans which have been drained and add:
  • 1 cup light or fancy molasses
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 4  tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • one 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes, pureed
  • one 28 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 4 tbsp dijon mustard

Stir all together well, cover and place in a 325 degree F oven for 3 to 4 hours
stirring occasionally. The beans should be fully cooked and tender and the sauce
should thicken. I sometimes add a little extra boiling water during the cooking time if
the sauce thickens too quickly before the beans are fully cooked. This is not a problem
at all and can be done more than once if necessary.

Old Fashioned Molasses and Bacon Baked Beans
Old Fashioned Molasses and Bacon Baked Beans

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