Brent, Sebastian, and I are spending the week in Canada with my sisters, niece, nephew, and parents. Sebastian has no idea what is going on, but my niece and nephew are over the moon excited for Santa. They are also pretty excited about their new cousin Sebastian because (in my nephew's words) "Sebastian is really small and his shoes look like tiny tapping shoes, and he is a magic".
I love the holiday season because spending time with family, of course, but also because there is no shame in eating copious amounts candy cane ice cream, drinking cocktails at noon, and power-watching cheesy made-for-tv Christmas movies. I told myself that I wasn't going to overindulge this holiday season, but that went right out the window as soon as I saw the tub of ice cream, the tray of Rice Krispie squares, and the Love Actually DVD on repeat.
Before we left for Ontario a few weeks back, I finally got around to photographing my baked bean recipe I'd been meaning to post for a little over a year now. A few years ago I started making baked beans pretty religiously, after receiving a bean pot from my mother-in-law as a gift. A bean pot is a fairly deep ceramic pot with a wide base and a narrow opening, which helps minimize evaporation and the amount of heat loss, allowing a long and slow cooking time. It's the ideal medium for cooking beans.
As for my bean recipe, I use tomato puree and barbecue sauce as the base. I like to add a few other ingredients for flavor - maple syrup (always), brown sugar, molasses, and apple cider vinegar. Baked beans are one of those meals that take little to no work to prepare, but requires a decent amount of time in the oven to allow the beans to absorb all the flavors. It's the perfect meal to prepare on a quiet Sunday afternoon while you're busy catching up on chores, or if you're like me, wasting countless hours on the Internet while simultaneously watching Gilmore Girls reruns on repeat.
MAPLE BARBECUE BAKED BEANS
prep time: 12 hours to soak beans
cooking time: 4 hours
2 cups (13 oz) dry beans (navy, white, or Great Northern)
2 tbsp butter
1 yellow onion, grated
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp molasses
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 cup Kraft barbecue sauce
28 oz tomato puree
1 - 4 cups of water
Place the dry beans in a bowl and cover with water. Let them soak overnight for at least 12 hours.
Rinse the beans and place into a medium saucepan filled with water. Cover the pot with a lid and heat on medium. Bring to a low boil and cook for 60 minutes until beans are soft and begin to split down the middle.
Heat the oven to 300ºF.
Once the beans are soft, drain and rinse. Place all of the ingredients into a bean pot or dutch oven and combine. Add one cup of water to start.
Place the pot into the oven and bake for 3 hours. Every 20 - 30 minutes remove the lid and stir. Continue adding more water when the sauce gets too thick.
Baked beans taste best if left to sit overnight, although this is not necessary. Once done, place them into the fridge once cool and reheat the next day.