Keep in mind I did not say, take a lot of work, but simply a long time—4 hours in the oven to be exact (that doesn’t include the overnight soaking of the beans or the hour and a half to parboil the beans or sauté the vegetables.)
But stick with me now, because the resulting toothsome molasses and bacon soaked beans are sooooo marvelous, and really, patience is a virtue so you should start practicing now.
I get a craving for these beans at least once a year but I always have to wait to make them for a picnic or barbecue because the recipe makes a ton and I end up eating them for a week straight.
They’ve been on my mind for at least a month now and I finally had the opportunity to make them for a back-to-school shindig at the lake. Worth the wait, yes they were. With a grilled braut and some spicy mustard; the time I spent stuck in my house waiting for them to bake was well worth it.
Sour Apple and Molasses Baked Beans
- Yield: 8-10 1x
- 1 pound bag dried 15 bean soup mix, seasoning packet discarded and rinsed well
- 8 ounces thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch strips
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 green bell peppers, seeded and chopped
- 2 pounds tomatoes, chopped
- 1 cup ketchup
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced
- Pick over the beans and cover with at least 2-inches of water. Let soak in the refrigerator overnight.
- Drain beans and rinse in a couple changes of cold water. Place in a large pot and cover with 2-inches of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a vigorous simmer, skimming off any white foam that rises to the top. Simmer until just tender, about 45 minutes. Drain.
- Heat oven to 350°F. Heat a large, oven-safe, Dutch oven with a tight fitting lid over medium-low heat and add bacon. Let cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp, this could take anywhere from 5-20 minutes. Remove bacon with tongs or a slotted spoon to a plate and set aside.
- Add onions to bacon fat and increase heat to medium. Cook until starting to brown. Add peppers and cook 5 more minutes, or until starting to brown. Add beans, tomatoes, bacon, ketchup, brown sugar, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard and gently stir to combine. Cover and bake in the oven for 2 hours.
- Add apples and season with salt and bake for another 1 1/2-2 hours uncovered, or until thick and beans are tender, but not mushy. Taste and season with more salt as needed.