One of our favorite side dishes all summer long is baked beans. They’re perfect with just about any summer meal, from a bar-b-que picnic to hot dogs on the grill.
Now, you probably have your own way of making baked beans, and if you’re like most people, it involves a can opener. There’s nothing wrong with that, but if you knew just how easy it was to make your own baked beans without opening a single can, you might just change your ways. They take a little time, but hardly any effort. And did we mention how good they taste?
1 lb dry navy beans
1 large onion, diced
½ lb bacon, not cooked, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 jar Martin’s Bar-B-Que Sweet Dixie Sauce
¼ cup brown sugar
1 6oz can tomato paste
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 T worcestershire sauce
First, you need to sort through the dry beans and get out any weird looking beans or foreign objects. Once you do that, the beans need to soak overnight in 8 cups of water. The next morning, simmer the beans in the same soaking water over low heat for 1 hour. Remove from heat and set aside.
Preheat your oven to 325. Drain the beans but save the water they were cooking in; you’ll need some of it later. Put half the beans into a baking dish (if you have one with a lid, use that). Spread half of your diced onion on top of the beans, and then arrange half of your bacon on top of the onions. Put the rest of your beans on top of all that, and repeat with the onions and bacon.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, mix Sweet Dixie Sauce, brown sugar, tomato paste, salt, pepper, and worcestershire until fully combined and heated. Carefully pour over the beans and allow the sauce to settle into the pan. This part might take a few minutes, but don’t stir the beans. Fill the pan with bean water until the beans are just barely covered. Put the lid on your pan, or cover tightly with foil, and bake for 1½ hours. Remove the lid and add more bean water if you can’t see it anymore. Continue baking for another 2 hours or until beans are tender.