| Recipe submitted by Gary Mcneff, A Real Dad Makes Real Food Blog
Baked beans - when I hear those two words I always think of summer picnics and barbecues. This recipe has been in my family for years - I remember both my mother and my grandfather making it when I was a kid. As is the case with most everything I make, I've changed it a bit - not a lot, just tweaks here and there that I think make it taste better. I'll note where I've made the changes and what they were so if you prefer to do it the "old-fashioned" (and easier) way, you can.
6 cans baked beans (11 oz)
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
12 pieces bacon, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 cup BBQ sauce
2 tsp liquid smoke
Preheat oven to 350º. Drain about half of the beans. Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until it gets crisp. While the bacon is cooking, add the liquid smoke, BBQ sauce and one cup of the brown sugar to the beans and mix it in. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon and add the onions (if you want vegetarian beans, simply sauté the onions in a small amount of olive oil instead). Cook until they are just starting to brown and add the garlic. Remove from the stove and pour the rendered bacon fat, onions and garlic into the beans along with the bacon and mix well. Sprinkle the top with the last 1/2 cup of brown sugar and bake for an hour.
This recipe is for a party with a lot of people (at least a dozen). If you're fixing it for your family you can adjust the size accordingly. Note for vegetarians: If you want to make them vegetarian, start out using cans of vegetarian beans and skip the bacon.