Jul 21, 2010

Recipe of the Week: Not-Your-Usual-Baked Beans

The origins of this recipe are a little murky.  I call these "Kim's Baked Beans" because a dear friend (and wonderful cook!) gave me this recipe when we were both new brides and we both did a lot of cooking for a crowd of mutual friends.  But when I made them for my parents on a visit, my mom pointed out that they were pretty similar to a (yummy) bell pepper stuffing mix she had used for years.  Over the years, I've modified the recipe to accommodate the number of knees under the table, and the changing palates of children and teens; my additions are listed below.  But no matter how you make them, they will go fast!

Baked Beans

Kim's Ingredients
2 or 3 cans pork and beans (any brand, even cheap store brand works fine)
1 pound hamburger
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 cup ketchup (or 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce)
1 can beef consomme (I usually use broth)
1 teaspoon Worstershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
strips of bacon (optional)

Terry's additions:
increase chili powder to 1 tablespoon
1 tablespoon prepared mustard (or to taste)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 can mushrooms, sliced

Brown hamburger and onion; drain.  Mix all ingredients (except bacon) together.  Place in large casserole dish or crockpot.  Place bacon strips on top.  Cover and bake for 2 hours (or place in crockpot for 3-4 hours on low).

Note:  This recipe makes 6-8 healthy servings and it can be adjusted up or down to feed your crowd.

If using this recipe as a pepper stuffing, use two cans of beans to stuff 3 or 4 peppers.  Simply mix all ingredients (except bacon) together, and ladle, scoop and stuff the parboiled peppers held in a glass baking dish.  Bake uncovered at 350 for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.  It's a wonderful comfort food any time of year, especially with a side of creamy mashed potatoes.