It may seem spur of the moment but it’s been on my mind for some time so a move to a new home is now imminent. Yes, I LOVE my home and I’ve shed many tears at the thought of leaving it but leaving it I am. It’s simply too big and too much work and without my kids living here anymore, it’s simply more than one person needs. I will probably howl at the moon a bit because I’m so torn but I’m moving forward at the same time.
One thing I vowed to myself this week was to make a super conscientious effort to prepare everything I can using goods from my pantry and my freezer. I had some thawed ground beef and went to pull some diced tomatoes out of the pantry…but no, say it ain’t so… there weren’t any! By the way; I have a feeling that vow will be broken; I need my tomatoes.
Still, I did spy two cans of Bush’s Baked Beans and I was quickly transported to those years of making casseroles and quick meals for two young girls. I honestly think versions of this recipe have been around for a gazillion years. If I’m not mistaken my mom made it for us as kids too; dishes like this were our idea of ‘Hamburger Helper.’ It’s funny; I’ve always loved this dish but never think of making it without a young family to feed. Well, I corrected that faux pas today…and I still loved it. It is requisite that it be served with corn muffins and in keeping with my trip down memory lane I made some from a box of Jiffy mix. No judging!
I did mix it up just a bit; substituting barbecue sauce for ketchup and kicking it up a notch with the addition of some chili powder and a dash or two of liquid smoke. Who says you can’t go home again? I did but just did a bit of renovating in the process!
I can’t deny that the sweet element is what I’ve always found appealing; something about that mixture of molasses and brown sugar with a touch of mustard and a hint of smokiness that transports this dish far beyond mere baked beans; the addition of ground beef makes it a whole meal in a bowl. I garnished them last night with some caramelized onions but it can be bare or even topped with a dollop of sour cream. Perfect right?
- ½ lb thick bacon, fried crisp, break into small pieces
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cans (28 oz) pork & beans
- 1 cup barbecue sauce
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp yellow mustard
- 3 Tbsp molasses
- ½ tsp chili powder
- 2-3 dashes of liquid smoke (optional)
- In oven proof dish, cook bacon, drain off grease.
- Cook hamburger and onion in same dish until meat is brown and onion is tender.
- Add all remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. (Can refrigerate overnight before baking to meld flavors)
- Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove lid, turn off oven and bake additional 15 minutes.
- Serve in bowls with corn muffins or biscuits.