This is not a recipe. Consider it a guide line of sorts because that’s really all it is. This is a comforting food to me. It reminds me of many things all at once. This started largely on my mom’s recipe, but modified into more of my former mother-in-law’s recipe. Loura used to serve it as part of Thanksgiving in her special bean pot. The bean pot was kind of a robin’s egg blue – really pretty. I had never knew anyone who made baked beans for Thanksgiving, but it totally works. I mean it. Really.
These beans are tangy, sweet, mustardy, oniony, and smokey with bacon. But for many years I did a vegetarian version and still do when I don’t happen to have bacon in the fridge. I buy Bush’s vegetarian baked beans to start because they are blank canvas-ish (they were on sale this week, buy one get one – yeah!) and then doctor it up with the favors I like best.
So here are the ingredients:
28 ozs can Bush’s vegetarian baked beans (a pantry staple)
Small to medium yellow onion, minced – I happen to like lots of onion in my baked beans
Worcestershire sauce – required – well, pretty much everything here is required. It is.
Mustard, yellow or Dijon – I prefer Dijon now, but either will do.
Bacon – not necessary, but really good.
Set oven to 350 degrees. Bake the mac n cheese first. Oh yeah these two things go together well. Anyway. That’s another recipe for another time. Another family recipe.
In a baking dish – I use a blue ceramic baking dish from Portugal that’s about 10″ by 7″ that I purchased in a Stein Mart in Durham, NC, and one can of beans works perfectly. I just mix everything else in there, but not the bacon – that’s for the top – again not a recipe. Here’s the thing though – you really have to taste it after mixing the beans, Worcestershire, brown sugar, onion, and mustard together and decide if you like the flavor – is it well balanced? If you don’t like it then – well, you won’t like it any better when it’s become more intense after baking. So taste and adjust. It’s pretty important.
I wish I could give you an exact recipe, but sometimes you just can’t and that means you’re just making food you love. Is there anything wrong with that? I think not. Thanks to Becky and Loura. Great inspirations.