The Don’s Never Fail Baked Beans

Here’s a recipe for baked beans that works every time!

Prep time – about 30 minutes

Cooking time – 12-14 hours

What you’ll need:

4-1/2 cups cold water (I sometimes substitute the last 1/2 cup of water with Jack Daniels)
1 lb dried pinot or navy beans (well rinced)
1/2-2/3 lb bacon cut into small pieces – I like to use the thick cut
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup packed brown sugar (light or dark)
1 medium onion – diced
1/3 cup ketchup
2 TBS Dijon mustard
dash of salt
1/2 tsp liquid hickory smoke

Preheat your oven to 215-220

I want to take this oportunity to provide some knife technique for those of you who may be novice to working with cutlery.  First – make sure that you are using a very sharp knife – there is nothing worse than trying to dice or cut or trim using a dull blade!  Once you have honed your blade, holding the onion so that the ends are pointing ‘east/west’ (you are standing south) cut about a half inch off the ‘top’ – this is the end that is NOT the root.  Next, stand the onion on the end you just trimmed so the root is facing up and cut right down the middle (see picture below)


Next peal both halves and discard the skin (i’m never too fussy about how many layers I remove when I am skinning an onion, but try to remove as little of the ‘meat’ as possible.

Now take one half of the onion and make three or four horizonal slices down to but not through, the root (see below)


Do the same thing vertically


Now dice the onion from the top to just about 1/4″ above the root.


When dicing onions, never remove the root, it helps keep the onion together and from falling apart when you are cutting.

Now take your bacon and slice it into small pieces.


Knife technique class 101 dismissed.

Take all your ingredients and combine them in a dutch oven and give them a good stir.


Put your pan in the oven and that’s it!  Check it at about 6 hours in and give it a good stir.  At 12 hours, taste the beans to make sure they are tender and if you need to add more liquid – this depends on the consistency you like your beans – my family likes them looser so I usually add another 1/2 cup of a water/molasses/brown sugar mix that I heat on the stove.  If the beans are not tender, cook for another couple hours.

This recipe yields about 8-10 servings.

These beans are always the hit of my side dishes, along with my corn bread – but that’s another blog!

Buon Appetito!



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