Hearty Baked Beans for a delicious comfort food meal.

Hearty Baked Beans

This recipe for Hearty Baked Beans won't leave you wondering where the meat is. Baked beans have been a favorite for many families for generations. When you think of pork and beans, you might envision a pot of beans with a few strips of bacon. This pot of food for comfort is loaded with smoked pork. This is one comfort food recipe you will want to try.

To add a unique flavor to this food for comfort, I put my smoked pork shoulder roast on my grill to slightly char the outside. This gives the meat an excellent grilled flavor that adds to your Hearty Baked Beans. The creamy, well-seasoned beans with rich, meltingly tender pork simmered together in a sweet and tangy sauce makes a delicious one pot meal.

1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 finely chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 c. water
1 (2 1/2 - 3 lb.) boneless smoked pork shoulder roast, cut into 4 pieces
1 lb. pink beans or navy beans, soaked overnight and drained
1 c. ketchup
1/2 c. packed dark brown sugar
1/4 c. spicy brown mustard
3 tbsp. molasses
4 dashes liquid smoke

Char the smoked pork roast over a hot grill until all sides have a nice brown color.

Heat oven to 350° F. with rack in the middle position. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook until softened. Stir in garlic and cook about 30 seconds or until nicely fragrant. Add water, pork and beans. Bring to boil. Cover and transfer to oven. Cook until beans are just beginning to soften, about 1 hour.

Stir in ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, molasses and liquid smoke. Bake, uncovered, until beans are completely tender and sauce is slightly thickened, about 2 - 3 hours.(*See note below)

Remove pork from pot and place on a plate. When cool enough to handle, but pork into bite-size pieces and return to pot. Discard fat. Serve.

*Note - Begin checking for doneness after 2 hours of uncovered baking. If the sauce has thickened but the beans aren't quite tender, add up to 1 1/2 c. water and continue cooking.

HINT - Instead of soaking beans over night, place beans in enough water to cover. Add chili powder or cumin (any seasoning that is flavorful) to the beans and bring to boil. Let boil 2 minutes. Turn off heat. Cover and let set for three hours. Drain and proceed with recipe.

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