Friday, August 13, 2010

Family Baked Bean Recipes

My grandma always made baked beans for family gatherings. Her legacy lives on as different ones of us, first my mom and aunt, then myself and my cousins, have made variations of her baked beans. And at our most recent family gathering, my niece, Sherece made an entirely new baked bean recipe. It called for 3 cans Great Northern Beans but she used pinto beans instead. Deciding to make baked beans yesterday to take to a pot luck dinner, I sorted, washed and pressure cooked 3 cups of pinto beans instead of going to the store for canned. I also am not real diligent about using the specific bean named in any given recipe and I love how recipes evolve as a result of these small inconsistencies -even revered family ones.

Sherece's Super Easy Baked Beans
Dad's Baked Beans adapted from Taste of Home, Aug/Sept 2010
3 -15 1/2 oz cans Great Northern or Pinto Beans or 3 c. either cooked until tender, drained
4-5 hot dogs, sliced (Sherece is a vegetarian and left these out)
1 1/2 c. ketchup
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 T. molasses
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 t. dry mustard
1/4 t. pepper
1/4 t. salt (omit if including the hot dogs)

Mix all ingredients in a 2 quart baking dish, cover and bake 1 1/2 hours -I put all in a crock-pot and cooked on high for about 4 hours.

The leeks in the garden were seriously in need of thinning, so I used them instead of the diced onion.

My sister-in-law, Connie made her Baked Burger Beans for our family reunion last year. They are so good! I had hot dogs in my fridge instead of hamburger, so that's what determined which Baked Bean recipe I used yesterday. Connie had told me several times how to make these but without writing it down, I couldn't remember. Here is her recipe, as relayed to me by my brother over the phone, and also her ex-mother-in-law's recipe she sent me later.

Connie's Baked Burger Beans
1 lb. ground burger meat
1 diced onion
1 t. garlic
4-5 slices bacon, cut

2 large cans pork and beans
1/4 c. BBQ sauce
1/4 c. ketchup (or more)
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/8 c. molasses
1 t. black pepper
1/2 t. vinegar
Heat and simmer 1 hour or cook in crock-pot on high for a couple hours.

Connie's ex-mother-in-law's Hamburger Beans
2 lbs. extra lean burger, 1 large onion chopped, 6 sticks of celery, chopped, salt and pepper, garlic powder, 64 oz. can of pork & beans, drained, 1 can tomato soup, 6 oz. molasses, brown sugar to taste.

Brown burger, onion, celery and add salt, pepper & garlic powder. Put into a large pot. Add beans, soup, molasses and brown sugar. If you have a large group you may have to double the recipe. You know how it is suppose to taste, so you will know if there is enough brown sugar.

When I was in college I wrote home asking my mom to send me Grandma's Baked Bean recipe and I still have it to this day, though I now keep it in a plastic cover -It is one of my most prized possessions.

My cousin Mindy follows this recipe and my mom says hers are the very best -they taste just like Grandma's did. I make variations of this recipe using my crock-pot instead of the oven (my husband likes moister baked beans), sometimes different types of beans, and often a ham hock instead of the bacon. If you ask me, all baked beans are good.

Grandma's Baked Beans
Cook 3 c. navy beans in salted water until tender. Drain and save water.

Mix with enough bean water to cover beans plus an inch or two:
1/4 c. molasses
1/2 c. ketchup
1 T. yellow mustard or 1 t. Coleman's dry mustard
1 t. ginger
1 c. brown sugar
2-3 bacon slices

You may have to add bean water to keep from drying out. Beans should be moist but not sloppy. About like thick gravy. Should cook from 3-5 hours or more depending. Temperature 300-350 degrees. No time to write. Wanted to send this off. Have 12 calves. Lots of Love, Mom


  1. I am going to try one of your baked bean recipes this when the weather is cooler. I don't have a crock pot so it's the oven for me.

  2. Definitely when the weather is cooler! Enjoy and as the immortal Louis Armstrong signed his letters, Red Beans and Ricely Yours!