Recently, I discovered a food blog I've really been enjoying called The Kitchen Sink Recipes. I'm incredibly envious of the photography on the site and I've seen so many recipes I want to try. The first one I made was for maple baked beans. I adore baked beans, though I admit I generally buy them canned. I always thought making beans from scratch was a lot of work and while this recipe is time consuming, the oven does all of the work for you!
I thought these beans were really good. They were lightly sweetened and had a ton of flavor! One pound of beans is a lot of beans for one person (Shane doesn't eat beans) and I wondered what to do with all of the leftovers. I found conflicting information on the internet about whether the beans would freeze well. I figured I'd give it a shot and stuck some beans in a freezer bag. I defrosted them this weekend and brought them to a friend's house for a cookout. I added a bit of water to a pot and reheated the beans for a few minutes before serving. I thought they were good, but definitely not as good as the first day I made them. I thought they'd lost some of their flavor but my friends still enjoyed them.
Maple Baked Beans
adapted from The Kitchen Sink Recipes
1 pound dried navy or great northern beans (I used navy)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons molasses
1/4 cup tomato sauce (I used ketchup)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
2 thick strips bacon, cut in 1/4 inch pieces
In a large pan (I used my 6 qt dutch oven), cover the beans with water. Bring to a boil and simmer until tender, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 300 F.
In a bowl, combine everything except the bacon. Add to the beans. Stir in the bacon. Add just enough water to the pot to cover everything. Cover the pot with aluminum foil, then a lid. Bake for 5 hours, checking hourly to make sure the beans aren’t drying out. (Add more water as necessary to keep them submerged.) Uncover for the last half hour to brown the top, if desired.