Some people need fireworks to make their Independence Day celebrations complete… I need a different kind of BOOM!
Some of us are either attending cookouts, hosting cookouts, or doing something that involves bringing a side dish to a gathering this July 4th. What am I bringing to the cookout I’m attending? The one thing that I can’t be without on July 4th, and that’s BAKED BEANS! And a white peach sangria, but this is about BAKED BEANS.
The greatness of my baked beans, beside a tablespoon or two of my Little Bit More Blackening Spice, is my weapon and “wow!” factor of choice, the addition of Head Country BBQ Sauce to the mix. I’v been using Head Country BBQ Sauce for years, starting with Scotty’s Restaurant in 2000. I thought about making my own for the restaurant, and the menu item it was served with, but why bother? Head Country “Original” has all the right flavors and spices that I love about Oklahoma made BBQ Sauce, and it works great with all of my ingredients… including my Baked Beans recipe.
Serves 6-10 people… depending on how hungry they are.
4 - 28 oz cans quality Baked Beans, lightly drained
1 large yellow onion, or two small, diced about 1 1/2 cups
2 Anaheim Peppers, seeded and diced about 1 cup(may substituteGreen Bell or Poblano)
1 large Red Bell Pepper, seeded and diced about 3/4 cup
1/2 pound thick slab bacon, diced
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
- Start off by cooking the bacon in a hot, lightly oiled skillet. The oil helps the bacon “get going”. Cook the bacon medium well in doneness, just before it starts to crisp up. Drain a little over half of the excess drippings, reserving the other half in the pan along with the cooked bacon.
- To the pan add the diced onion and both diced peppers. Cook slowly along with the bacon. Add the Little Bit More Spice and cook in with the other ingredients until the peppers and onion are soft, and your mouth is watering from the glorious aromas you have just created all the while someone walks in and says “… Hey! What are you cooking?”.
- In a large mixing bowl add the lightly drained baked beans. To that add the 1/2 cup brown sugar, the onion pepper and bacon sauté, along with one cup of the Head Country “Original”. With a wooden spoon or plastic spatula, begin to fold the ingredients together. Do not mix hard otherwise you will have a smokey sweet refried beans dish. Do this gently and until everything is combined.
- Begin preheating your convection oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour the beans into a 9x13 glass pyrex baking dish, or any dish you choose, and smooth out evenly. Whatever you use for a pan, be sure the beans are around an inch thick layer. If thicker than an inch you may have to increase your cooking time.
- What I love about these beans and with the addition of Head County and Brown Sugar, is that the end result of these beans are a rich, concentrated, caramelized, version of Baked Beans. They’re darker, the texture is smoother, and the flavor is KABOOM! It’s just so dang good! Bake your beans for one hour uncovered, or until you get the desired appearance and consistency you prefer. Cover until serving, or cool before covering and storing in ht fridge. As with most things, this dish is even more amazing the next day. Cover and reheat in the oven or serve ice-box cold!
Wishing all of you a happy, safe, and delicious 4th! - Chef Scotty