Almost from the day we met, Michael has asked me to make baked beans. He loves them! Unfortunately for him, it is not one of my favorite dishes so I never think to make them. Plus, he is pretty particular about just what makes the perfect baked beans. I would taste the brands he liked from the store, and anytime he enjoyed baked beans at a restaurant, I would try to get a taste. After a while, I felt I knew the flavors he looked for—sweet and slightly smoky.
I pulled out my copy of the Kansas City Barbeque Society Cookbook. It was full of ideas, but none of the recipes seemed just right. So I took the one that was closest to what I was looking for and then added my own adjustments and touches. (Of course, ketchup had to be one of the ingredients!)
Michael said, “It doesn’t get any better that this!”
I just smiled.
Birthday Baked Beans
1 large onion, diced
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup tomato-based barbecue sauce (I used KC Masterpiece.)
1 cup ketchup
3 28-ounce cans pork and beans (I used VanCamp’s.)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Add the brown sugar, barbecue sauce, and ketchup into the slow cooker. Whisk together until combined. Mix in the beans and sauteed onions. Set the temperature to low and cook for 3 to 4 hours, stirring occasionally so the beans do not burn. Season with salt and pepper just before serving.
Note: These beans are sweet. If you like yours less so, just cut the sugar amount in half. Also, about 1/2 pound of crispy bacon would make a nice addition.