Coast Cooking

Coast Cooking: Baked beans that can stand on their own

Nothing goes with a good barbecue better than baked beans. Interestingly, most of the recipes online for baked beans start with cans of pork and beans. 

It certainly will save you about an hour of prep time, but if you are frugal, there is nothing wrong with cooking 2-3 cups of navy beans, along with all the seasonings you like, for 30 or 40 minutes. 

The best beans I have had were always loaded with at least two kinds of meat, and a serious portion of fresh vegetables, too. It changes the concept from a simple side, to a dish that can stand on its own.  The variations of this recipe are endless, but I like this one


3 cups pork and beans

1/2 cup thick sliced and chopped bacon

2/3 cup chopped, fresh Italian sausage

1 chopped onion

1 chopped bell pepper

3-6 cloves chopped garlic

1/3 cup sorghum molasses

1-2 teaspoons dry mustard

Fresh ground black pepper

Optional red pepper flakes 

Sauté the bacon and sausage until the bacon is crisp, drain and remove. To the same pot add the onion and bell pepper, season and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 2 minutes longer. Combine all the ingredients and bake at 300 f. for 20 minutes. If it becomes too thick, add a little chicken stock.