Although I am not a fan of pork and beans served right out of the can, I believe that canned beans are a real boon to saving hours of time when preparing these shortcut baked beans. I drain most of the tomato sauce from the beans and of course remove that hunk of fat from the can, then add sautéed vegetables, bacon, and spices for a flavorful, sweet and savory side dish.
This is the recipe my Mother used for at least 40 years; I have made just a few changes to suit my cooking style. I cannot count the number of potluck dinners and picnics these beans have been taken to. They are always a favorite side dish, especially with coleslaw, and rarely have we had any leftovers. Simply stated, they are fast, easy, and fabulous!
In order to keep them hot when transporting, we always wrapped the covered casserole in several layers of newspaper, then put it on a baking sheet, which, in addition to keeping the heat in, also prevented the sauce from leaking out onto the car interior. It will stay hot up to two hours when wrapped this way.
I like to serve these beans with Memphis-Style Pulled Pork Barbecue Sandwiches (link at the bottom of this page), grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, barbecued ribs, or grilled chicken. They also go well with grilled steaks.
1 pound bacon
1 medium onion, chopped
½ green pepper, chopped
3 15 ounce cans pork and beans
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon dry mustard
Cut the bacon in ½ inch slices and place in a large skillet. Fry the bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan and drain on paper towels. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings from the pan and add the onion and green pepper; sauté over medium heat until transparent.
Meanwhile, drain the excess juice from the cans of pork and beans, and remove the little chunk of pork fat. Pour the beans into a 2 quart casserole dish and mix them with the brown sugar, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and dry mustard. Add the cooked vegetables and drained bacon; mix well.
Cover and bake at 350° for 30-45 minutes or until bubbly.
Note: These beans can be prepared several days in advance. Prepare as directed and refrigerate. Bake as directed for 45 – 60 minutes.
Memphis-Style Pulled Pork Barbecue Sandwiches