Before going into the oven
Adapted from Martha Stewart, these Baked beans are just beyond. I can’t remember who it was, but someone appeared on Martha years ago and described the process of making baked beans. To Martha’s horror, this did not involve soaking white beans overnight and cooking them with a smoked ham hock and taking 24 hours to finish the process. No. This bean recipe started with, quelle horror….canned beans! Oh yes. And so, with a few tricks up my sleeve, I knew that I could take these beans to another level. The original recipe included onions and peppers, which I removed. A few more additions and I think I have the perfect baked bean recipe. This feeds a major crowd. Here goes. For about 20 servings!
3 large cans (28 ounces each) of any brand of baked beans, original flavor, maple, homestyle….whatever
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup yellow mustard
1/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon salt (which you need to balance all that sweet)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 pound of lean ground beef
1 pound fresh andouille sausage (look for the Premio brand here in New Jersey–if you can’t find fresh, don’t use the smoked unless you like the kielbasa taste–rather any other type of fresh sausage like Creole, Sweet Italian, Breakfast pork (like the kind you would use in a sage stuffing). In a pinch, you can also substitute 1 pound of cooked bacon, drained and crumbled.
Mix the beans, the brown sugar, the mustard, the ketchup and the W sauce in a large Dutch oven. Add the cayenne and the salt and set aside. Over medium heat, brown the ground beef until it has given off all of its moisture and then drain well–the last thing you want is added fat to this. Crumble into 1/2 inch pieces and add to the beans.
If using the fresh Andouille, which I LOVE, take it out of its casing and brown it over medium heat in a large frying pan. If substituting any other fresh sausage you can do this as well, same method. DRAIN well, crumble into 1/2 inch pieces and add to the beans. If substituting bacon brown the bacon (I like to do this in a 425 degree oven to avoid the mess) then drain, crumble and add to the beans. Stir well.
Place in the oven (400F) for at least 60-75 minutes (if not 90 minutes) until it’s bubbly and hot and perhaps forming a little crust on top. Take out, let cool and serve. Serves about 20. Yes, 20. Feel free to cut the recipe in half unless you are bringing this to a family reunion or just a hungry bunch! These beans are delicious!
I’ll post the photo tomorrow as I am making them for a neighborhood block party here in Erwinna!