This will very likely be the only baked bean recipe I ever make again.
It was that good.
The sweetness of the root beer dancing with the salty, smokey bacon was perfection. It tasted as though the ingredients simmered together for many hours, yet the use of canned beans meant start to finish in 45 minutes flat. Everyone who celebrated our nation's Independence Day earlier this week with us went back for seconds. Those are all components of a winning dish in my book.
I miss Gourmet dearly, but with this dish have suddenly become a huge fan of the Bon Appetit magazine that has started arriving in its place. The July edition is the source of this recipe:
Root Beer Baked Beans
From: Bon Appetit
4 slices applewood-smoked bacon, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
3 1/2 cups chopped onions (I used a mix of red and yellow)
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 15-oz cans cannellini (white kidney beans), rinsed and drained
1 1/2 c. root beer (opt for an artisanal brand sweetened with cane sugar, not corn syrup)
3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsp. mild flavored molasses
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 Tbsp. dijon mustard
1 1/s tsp. chili powder (I used a mix of pasilla and cayanne)
1 tsp. coarse kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook bacon in large ovenproof pot over medium heat until crisp, stirring occasionally. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towel lined plate.
Add onions to drippings in pot. Cook until beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Add garlic; stir and cook 1 minute. Add beans, root beer, vinegar, molasses, tomato paste, mustard, chili powder, salt and pepper. Mix. Stir in bacon. Bring to a boil.
Transfer to oven. Bake uncovered until liquid thickens, about 30 minutes.
One year ago: pasta with walnut pesto & tomatoes