Maple Baked Beans

Like so many people in southern Ontario, I was sure that spring had arrived. I was ready to cook asparagus and peas and rhubarb and ramps. However, Mother Nature had different ideas.

It hailed. And it snowed. And I’ll take the blame because it was me who moved my winter coats out of the hall closet.

To help combat the disappointment I made beans, which are definitely a dish suited to colder weather. Maple beans, in fact, which had me thankful for the happy accident which lead to someone to taste the sap from a maple tree then decide to concentrate it so I could drink have maple syrup.

Here’s how it went.

Got some beans. Kidney beans this time.

Dried kidney beans.

Dried kidney beans.

Soaked them overnight. The next morning, they were rejuvenated.

After being soaked overnight.

After being soaked overnight.

The beans were cooked for about 45 minutes.

Cooked the beans.

Cooked the beans.

While the beans were cooking, got the rest of the ingredients ready.

Bacon.

Chopped bacon.

Chopped bacon.

Chopped onions.

Chopped onion.

Chopped onion.

Mixed together the ginger, mustard, maple syrup and Worcestershire sauce.

Adding the mustard.

Adding the mustard.

The beans were draining, so the dish could start to come together.

Instead of cooking the bacon I put it into the pot raw, figuring that the hour or so that the pot was going to be in the oven would take care of that.

Bacon and onions in the casserole dish.

Bacon and onions in the casserole dish.

Get the beans into the casserole too.

Add the beans to the cooking pot.

Add the beans to the cooking pot.

Pour the wet ingredients over.

Add the liquid ingredients (Yes! A whatfoodimade action shot™!)

Add the liquid ingredients (Yes! A whatfoodimade action shot™!)

Maple syrup and bacon are great together so why not add some more bacon? I have no good reason not too.

Add more bacon.

Add more bacon.

An hour later:

After an hour in the oven.

After an hour in the oven.

Add the vinegar and serve.

Maple Baked Beans.

Maple Baked Beans.

Maple Baked Beans.

Here’s the original recipe: http://chefmichaelsmith.com/recipe/maple-baked-beans-2/

Maple Baked Beans
(with my adjustments)

Beans have the wonderful ability to absorb lots of flavour while they slowly bake. They’re nutritious, tasty and easy. Just toss into the slow cooker in the morning to have dinner waiting in the evening!

Serves 4 – 6

Ingredients
2 cups dried kidney beans, soaked in lots of cold water overnight
2 cups water
1 cup maple syrup
6 slices thick-cut fried bacon, diced
4 – 6 more slices of bacon
1 large onions, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon powdered ginger
2 tablespoons any mustard
a dash or two Worcestershire sauce
a sprinkle or two sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon any vinegar

Instructions

Strain the beans out of their soaking water and give them a good rinse. No nutrients are lost in the soaking and rinsing; instead, the beans rehydrate, which will speed up their cooking time.

Toss the beans into a saucepan and cover them with cold water. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer until the beans are tender, about 45 minutes.

Drain the beans and place them in a 4-quart ovenproof baking dish with a tight-fitting lid. Add the maple syrup, bacon, onions, ginger, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper. Add a layer of the bacon over top of the beans.

Cover and place in the oven and bake until the beans have absorbed most of the liquid and are tender, about 1 hour or so.

Stir in the vinegar just before serving.

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