I asked my mom, friends and anyone I met what their favorite recipe was for baked beans. I received a huge variety of recipes and most had a few things in common; brown sugar, onion, molasses and ketchup. Ok, well that was a start but not what I was looking for. So I took all the recipes that I sort of liked, combined them into one and as I was making the beans I found myself constantly adding more stuff, thus the Kitchen Sink Baked Beans (the beer was an afterthought). I know in my article this month in Women’s Lifestyle Northshore I told you not to heat up balsamic vinegar but as with most rules this is an exception. The “tang” part of the beans is from the balsamic vinegar and it give the recipe a great flavor!
Cooking time will vary with this recipe and it also depends on if you put them in the oven or in a crock pot. I used a crock pot for this recipe (have 3 and don’t ever use them). Enjoy!!! For comments/questions email Ramona@lowfatdivablog.com
Kitchen Sink Baked Beans
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 ½ cup diced onions or leeks
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced carrot
¼ cup Balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons whole grain Dijon Mustard
1 ½ teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
3 teaspoons smoked paprika
1/3 cup brown sugar (start with this amount and you may decide to add more)
2 teaspoon liquid smoke
2 cups dried navy beans or other dried bean of your choice
1 can great northern beans (size is your choice)
5 cups water
8 oz. of any Porter or Stout beer (not sweet flavors) – keep 4 oz for the end of the cooking
6 oz. cooked and chopped up turkey bacon
Place dried beans in a pot and cover with water (you can use half beer and half water). Leave them to soak over nights.
The next day drain beans and set aside. In a non stick frying pan place the olive oil, add the onion, celery and carrots. Cook until translucent – about 10 minutes. Add in the balsamic vinegar to deglaze the pan for 1 more minute. Add the tomato paste, mustard, rosemary, cocoa powder and paprika. Saute for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat
Set your crock pot on high if you want them done in about 5 hours. Add the beans, vegetable mixture, water and beer. Stir the mixture about every hour or so. In the last 2 hours, add the canned northern beans and the cooked bacon. I add the other 4 ounces of beer at this time or more if I want my beans to have a bit more liquid. There is nothing I hate more than having baked beans that are more like dry baked paste!
NOTE: My friend Dawn browns up very lean ground beef or turkey and adds that into her baked beans during the cooking cycle. The meat does give the beans a nice flavor.