Have you ever been to a Dutch oven pot luck? Let me give you a little tip. People love beans (specifically, these ones).
About a week ago, my mom organized a little soiree where everybody brought a dish from, drumroll please…my cookbook: Easy Dutch Oven Cooking!
We had so much fun sampling all the dishes and, generally, getting out of the house.
What’s funny is that I ended up bringing the exact same quinoa kale salad as my sister. Go figure. It’s a good thing I also brought a second dish–These sweet-n-savory, sauced-n-baked Great Northern beans.
Turns out, the party was a great way to taste test my little experiment: a new spice on a childhood favorite.
Taking mental notes, it seemed everybody was going back for seconds (and apparently bringing home leftovers because they up and disappeared from my Dutch oven).
The Unexpected Spice You Need to Be Adding to Your Baked Beans
I got my kicks, asking everybody to guess at the secret ingredient. Most people couldn’t detect it; only the chef in the family came close.
So what’s the secret spice?
It sounds totally bizarre, I know, but it’s actually quite fabulous! It just gives the flavor more dimension.
Curry has an earthy flavor that mellows out some of the sweetness from the maple syrup, and makes the dish a little more savory. Everybody weighed in and it was unanimous: these maple-baked beans are great because they weren’t overly sweet, like baked beans often are.
What You Need To Make Great Northern Beans Taste Good
First of all, we are starting with pre-cooked beans and, so, the name of the game is to simply nurture some serious flavor.
The key with beans is time and warmth.
Beans just need a ton of time to get along with all their delicious friends (bacon, tomato, mustard, and onion).
For tender and creamy baked beans, I recommend canned beans, which are already cooked perfectly. Though, you can soak dry beans overnight and simmer them until tender, if you like.
Ok. Grab a heavy duty pot, like a Dutch oven. Don’t worry, your pot will do most of the work for you.
And, of course, you gotta let me know whatcha’ think of the curry powder. Ok?
More Bean Recipes You Might Like:
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MAPLE-BACON BAKED BEANS
- 2 bacon slices chopped
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped
- 4 15-ounce cans Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons ground mustard powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- Preheat the oven. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Crisp the bacon. Heat an oven-safe medium pot over medium heat; Cook the bacon until crisp, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add onion; cook 4 minutes or until softened, stirring occasionally.
- Bake the beans. Turn the heat off. Add the beans along with 1/2 cup water, tomato paste, maple syrup, dry mustard, pepper, salt, and curry powder. Transfer the pot to the oven and bake for 35 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly. Carefully remove pot from oven and serve.
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