I just realized the other day that I had not posted a recipe for traditional baked beans. I had posted my Beefy Baked Bean Bake and my Spicy Barbeque Beans, and while they are both really good, they are very different than just classic baked beans. I love good baked beans, but baked beans tend to fall in the same category as meatloaf and cornbread...everybody in the South makes them, but very few make them that turn out great!
I have been to my share of church potlucks, after funeral dinners, and other gatherings where baked beans make a usual appearance and have sampled many. Here is what I usually notice that goes wrong... cooked way too long, cooked way too little, too little seasoning and brown sugar, too much 'stuff' in them, no bacon for seasoning, way too dry, and that is just a few.
Here is what you will need for these baked beans:
4 (15oz.) cans of pork and beans (I prefer Campbell's) or 2 (28 oz.) cans baked beans (like Busch Baked Beans) Do not drain.
1 1/2 cups ketchup
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup real maple syrup
2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs. yellow mustard
dash of Tabasco sauce
1/2 cup sweet onion, diced fine
4-5 slices of bacon, uncooked
Spray a 2 1/2 or 3 quart casserole with nonstick spray. Mix the ketchup, brown sugar, maple syrup, Worcestershire sauce, yellow mustard, and Tabasco sauce. If you don't have real maple syrup, use what you have, but the real syrup is best for the flavoring.
Mix with the beans (undrained) and then stir in the diced onion. I do remove any of the 'pork' or whatever that is in the can of beans. There is usually 1 piece of fatty looking meat in each can.
Place in the casserole dish and lay the uncooked bacon over the top.
Place in a 350 degree oven for 55 minutes to an hour. Remove from oven. If you want to keep warm, cover tightly with foil or the glass casserole lid. Baked beans dry out fast if left uncovered, especially in the oven, even if it's off. I am convinced this is where a lot of good baked beans are ruined.
This makes a nice size dish of baked beans for company or to take to a cookout, if you are making baked beans for a smaller family, just make half of this recipe.