When I was a kid I loved eating baked beans from a can. They had to be the kind that contained maple syrup and I’d definitely pick over that 1 gigantic fatty piece of bacon that seemed to mutate from can to can. I’d dump the can of beans into a small pot and heat up the beans until the liquid would bubble and pop. Then, I’d slather some butter over a fluffy slice of white bread and start my beans and bread eating ritual. First a dollop of beans would go on the bread, then I’d eat off that part. I’d repeat this process until there was no bread left. Usually there would be more beans than bread, so off I would go to butter up another slice and start the process over again until my beans were done. Even when I moved away from home, once in a while, I’d get a craving for beans and buttered bread and I’d repeat my little ritual until that can of beans was gone.
Now that we’re getting ready to move, I’m feeling a bit antsy about all we have to pack. In an effort to reduce the stuff we have to pack into boxes, I’m creating another little ritual…something I like to call “Operation: Cupboard Clean-Out”. I’ve been going through all my containers and shelves getting rid of things that are too old to eat and eating things that I don’t want to move. Yesterday I found a tin filled with navy beans and decided that this small amount of beans wasn’t going to make the journey out of this apartment. So I dumped the beans into a large bowl, covered them with water and decided to make some baked beans of my own. After soaking the beans overnight and cooking them up on the stove, I mixed up a lot of cupboard and fridge ingredients that would not be making the move into the new place. And just to get a little crazy with the clean up, I found a near-empty bag of frozen pineapple in the freezer and decided that the pineapple would end up in the beans. Into the casserole pot the pineapple went and oh my, these baked beans are just made for eating with bread slathered in butter. And this time, I don’t have any fatty bacon to pick out. Perfect.
pineapple baked beans
2 c dry white beans
4 bay leaves
1 t olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 green pepper, diced
6 thin slices of ham, diced
1/4 c molasses
2 T brown sugar
2 T maple syrup
1 14oz can of stewed tomatoes
1/2 c ketchup
2 T deli mustard
1 T cider vinegar
1 c pineapple
1. Sort through the beans, picking out any that look discoloured or misshapen. Rinse them in a colander under cold water and then transfer to a large bowl. Cover with at least 3 inches of water and soak overnight.
2. Rinse the beans well and put them into a large saucepan. Cover with water and add in the bay leaves. Boil gently until soft, about 1.5 hours. Drain the beans, remove the bay leaves and reserve the cooking liquid.
3. Preheat oven to 375F. In a large cast iron casserole dish, heat oil and add in the garlic, onion, ham and green pepper. Saute until soft. Turn off heat. Add in all remaining ingredients as well as 1 1/2 cups of the cooking liquid. Stir until combined.
4. Cover and bake, removing from the oven and stirring every so often. When most of the liquid has been absorbed (about 2-3 hours) and the sauce has thickened, remove from oven and serve with buttered bread.
Pork and beans is one of my specialties. Sometimes I use pork picnic shoulder and other times diced pancetta. But never did it occur to me to add pineapple – which sounds so tasty. And I did stock up on pineapple this weekend, so I will be trying this very soon.
Yum-o! I eat a version of beans and bread all the time. I’ll have to try this!
I’ve been making my own beans lately and no longer follow a recipe, consequently all sorts of things get thrown in, like a bottle of beer, lots of maple syrup, mustard powder…
that sounds like my old family fav, baked beans on toast which i just love to eat. must try your recipe! you haven’t let me down yet!
Baked beans with pineapple – I’ll have to try it. My mom, being of French Canadian extraction just like yours, would make baked beans all the time when I was a kid. I’m going to have to try your recipe this week.
BTW, you know that Stimpy (of Ren and Stimpy) believes that the slab of fat in a can of pork and beans is the Queen Bean and that the actual beans are just there to serve her.
Like you, I would never eat that squidgy piece of fat from the canned stuff.
I’d never think to add pineapple to baked beans. Sounds delish. Gotta try it!
pineapple is a great addition, joanne! i like my beans with a bit of sweetness and pineapple works wonders!
claire, beans and bread are made for one another!
brilynn, i was totally tempted to throw in a bottle of beer too! next time i definitely will. thanks for the suggestion.
mmm, tania, beans on toast is a big yum from me!
craig, my mom would also make “feves au lard” often but i also liked the canned kind too! haha, queen bean, i like it!
annieknodes, who knew pinapple worked so well! it really does add something special to plain ol’ beans.