The Best Baked Beans

best baked beans
Once we decided to go with a BBQ-style meal for Preston's family party, I knew most of the sides I wanted to serve. My go-to potato salad, my new favorite quinoa salad with roasted corn and avocado (if you haven't tried this yet, you must! I made it for book club and everyone went on and on about it), potato chips and white bread. But I needed some super yummy baked beans to complete the perfect brisket meal. Of course my first stop was The Pioneer Woman and she just happened to have a recipe for what she called the best baked beans I believed her without even tasting them, and as usual she was right! I was able to mix it all up the night before and then just bake them before the party which is just what I prefer for my party fare. They were a big hit!

recipe originally by Pam Anderson
Serves up to 18 (seriously! It makes TONS!)
8 slices bacon, halved
1 medium onion, cut into small dice
1/2 medium green pepper, cut into small dice
3 large cans (28 ounces each) pork and beans
3/4 cup favorite barbecue sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup distilled or cider vinegar
2 teaspoons dry mustard or 2 tablespoons Dijon

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Fry bacon in large, deep sauté pan skillet until bacon has partially cooked and released about 1/4 cup drippings. Remove bacon from pan and drain on paper towels. Add onions and peppers to drippings in pan and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add beans and remaining ingredients bring to a simmer. (If skillet is not large enough, add beans and heat to a simmer then transfer to a large bowl and stir in remaining ingredients). Pour flavored beans into a greased 13-by 9-inch (or similar size) ovenproof pan. Top with bacon, then bake until beans are bubbly and sauce is the consistency of pancake syrup, about 2 hours. Let stand to thicken slightly and serve.