I can’t believe it’s almost Memorial Day. The official start of summer!!! This is exciting for a number of reasons, mainly lots and lots of great cookouts to host and attend. I am also thrilled that my grandparents are coming to visit this weekend from Texas. I am always excited to see them and I have lots of great recipes planned for the weekend’s festivities.
I will absolutely be bringing these baked beans along to every cookout this summer. Craig is constantly requesting baked beans, so I had to finally oblige. I used some gorgeous cattle beans, which are also called trout beans. Cattle beans are plump, red and white speckled beans. They are full flavored with a nutty aftertaste and hold their shape and texture for long cooking. If you can’t find cattle (or trout) beans at your local grocery store, red kidney or great northern beans can be substituted.
I am a firm believer that dry beans make for the tastiest baked beans. Because you are cooking them at high temperature for a long time, dry beans hold their texture better and have a more intense flavor. Planning ahead is necessary, but it is totally worth the extra effort.
I sought to create a flavorful recipe that wouldn’t be too heavy, soupy or sweet. The beans themselves are the centerpiece of this dish, combined with a bit of salty bacon, molasses and fresh sage for flavor. The result is an addictive, but light dish that will compliment any type of barbecue.
In honor of the start of summer, I wanted to reward all my loyal and beautiful readers with a giveaway! I love reading your comments and emails and have gotten to know so many of you. As you all know, I am obsessed with my cast iron skillet and use it for everything. So it seemed like the perfect giveaway for my loyal Gen Y Foodie readers.
Cast iron skillets are versatile, easy to store, and lend themselves to many different types of recipes. My preferred brand, Lodge, manufactures their product in the USA and has a lifetime warranty!
Cast iron skillets are also a healthy cooking tool because they are a chemical free alternative to Teflon or non-stick pans, allow you to use less oil when you cook, and fortify your food with iron.
So I am giving away one Lodge 10-1/4″ Cast Iron Skilletto one lucky reader.
- Leave a comment on this post telling me what you’d like to cook with this skillet.
- “Like” Gen Y Foodie on Facebook and leave me a comment saying you did so or letting me know if you already do.
- Follow Gen Y Foodie on Twitter and leave me a comment saying you did so or letting me know if you already do.
- Tweet about this giveaway by saying “I just entered @GenYFoodie’s Giveaway http://bit.ly/JLKzqi” and leave a comment saying you did.
Valid in the USA and Canada only.
1 cup dry cattle beans (may substitute kidney or great northern), soaked
1/4 lb thick cut bacon, diced (approx. 4 strips)
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp tomato paste
1.5 tbsp molasses
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup of water
2 tbsp fresh sage, washed and chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Step by Step Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 375
2. Cook soaked beans according to directions. If beans have been soaking for 12+ hours, bring beans plus 3 cups of water to a boil and simmer on med-low heat for 30-45 minutes. Beans are cooked when, if you blow on them, the skin wrinkles.
3. In a cast iron skillet, saute onions and garlic in olive oil for 4-5 minutes
4. Add diced bacon and continue to saute on medium heat for another 5 minutes
5. Add cooked beans and water
6. Stir in tomato paste, molasses, and apple cider vinegar
7. Stir thoroughly to make sure everything is incorporated
8. Season with 1 tbsp sage, salt and pepper
9. Cover and transfer to the oven
10. Bake, covered for 40 minutes – checking at 20 to make sure there is enough liquid. If liquid is absorbed, add another 1/2 cup of water, stir and cover before returning to the oven.
11. Garnish with sage and serve!