Old West Baked Beans
This slow-baked molasses-and-mustard-flavored western favorite is a perfect party food because it can be made days ahead and just gets better[ with time. Enjoy it while watching Blazing Saddles,, which, according to creator Mel Brooks, is best seen on video. Claims Brooks, "I can't watch Blazing Saddles on television ... A lot of prudes got together and silly people got together and they cut out everything they thought would be offensive to a 4-year-old."]
- 1 pound dried navy, pinto or pink beans
- 2 large onions, diced
- 12 ounces smoked pork or ham steak, chopped
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup dark molasses
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar, plus more as needed
- Salt and pepper
Soak the beans overnight in water in a large bowl.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Saute the onions and pork over medium heat in a cast iron Dutch oven until the onions are tender, abut 10 minutes. Add the drained beans, pork, chicken stock, cayenne, molasses, ketchup, brown sugar, and salt and pepper to taste and bring to a boil.
Cover the casserole and transfer to the oven. Bake to 3 1/2 to 4 hours, until the beans are tender.
Serve topped with a sprinkle of brown sugar.
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