Collecting old recipes has connected me to hundreds of towns, churches, schools and civic organizations that have created cookbooks as a favorite method of fund-raising.They are bound and forgotten recipes often tossed in a box and sold for a dime at yard sales. That’s where I rescued the Willowbrook’s Favorite Recipes Cookbook. The book had been compiled by the Cookbook Committee for Willowbrook Estates, a retirement community in Garden City, Idaho. Inside was a tasty recipe for Homemade Baked Beans that couldn’t be more perfect for football watching, tailgating and backyard grilling. It was in the same section as Golumki Casserole which I was tempted to make just because the name made me giggle, but opted for the baked beans recipe because of one particular ingredient—a cup of strong brewed coffee. The rest of the ingredients are fairly common to homemade baked beans; molasses, bbq sauce, mustard and brown sugar. But I was curious to know what the strong brewed coffee brought to the flavor profile. It was delicious! I also used hickory smoked thick style bacon, Dijon mustard and for the hot sauce I opted for a teaspoon of Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce. This recipe makes up a nice sized batch so it’s perfect for a party, and a fantastic accompaniment to a hotdog, hamburger or grilled steak. I’m no bean counter, but my ten cent investment in the Willowbrook cookbook has paid big dividends just with this recipe alone for Homemade Baked Beans.
- 8 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh garlic, minced
- 1 pound package navy beans
- 1 cup strong brewed coffee
- 1/2 cup bbq sauce
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoon prepared mustard
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 8 cups water
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Rinse and pick through beans making sure there are no pebbles. (See note for soaking beans to reduce cook time.) In a Dutch oven or large oven-safe pot, cook bacon until crisp. Do not discard bacon grease. Add onion and garlic, cooking until soft. Add dried navy beans, coffee, BBQ sauce, brown sugar, mustard, molasses, hot sauce, salt, pepper and 8 cups of water. Stir to combine and bring mixture to a boil. Place in oven, covered, and bake for 3 hours or until beans are cooked.
- To reduce the cook time by about an hour, soak beans before preparing Homemade Baked Beans recipe. Rinse beans in cold water and put them in a large pot covered with 3-4 inches of cold water. Bring to a boil and then immediately remove from heat. Cover and let sit for 1 hour. Drain, and add to baked bean pot along with the rest of the ingredients, including the 8 cups of water.