Back during the Punic Wars when I was a youngster there use to be a Horn and Hardart Automat on East 42nd Street in New York City. This place was a goof to me and my buddies. You would go in, see all this small glass windows, put some change into a slot and a prepared meal would come out. It was like magic. And our favorite, at the time, was their baked beans that you could get for 10-15 cents.
The Automat is long gone, having been replaced by such things as McDonald’s and Wendy’s. But I still recall their baked beans. Thus I’m always on the lookout for a good recipe. The one given below should fill the bill. It’s bakes beans infused with maple syrup. I’ve tried baked beans with brown sugar, honey and other sweeteners. Nothing can compare to dark maple syrup as a flavoring.
Now, this recipe can be made from scratch with dried beans. Or, if pressed for time, you can use canned beans. If it’s dried beans, soak them in water to cover overnight. Drain the next day, place in a pot with water to cover by a two inches or so. Bring to a boil, lower heat to simmer and cook, partly covered, for about an hour or until tender. Depending upon the age of the beans, it may take longer to cook. Just be patient. Some folks add salt to the beans while cooking. I do not. Your choice. That’s it. Once beans are done, you add the ingredients needed, and bake. If it’s canned beans, drain them before cooking.
Almost any type of bean can be used in this recipe. It can be kidney beans, pinto beans, great northern, lima beans, garbanzo beans, whatever. Or, if desired, you can use a mix of beans to give it more oomph. This time around we served the recipe with anther favorite, chicken wings. But you can serve the dish with beef, pork, lamb or just plain rice. The choice is endless, and the meal will be great, be it a formal dinner, a cookout or picnic.
MAPLE BEAKED BEANS
2 cups favorite cooked beans, or a combination thereof
½ cup chopped onion
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup mustard
Chili powder to taste (optional)
½ teaspoon fresh chopped ginger
¾ cup dark maple syrup
8 ounces bottled spicy barbecue sauce
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Mix together all ingredients in an oven-proof pot or pan and bake for 1 hour.
Yield: 6 servings.