Susan’s Baked Beans

October 30, 2011 § 2 Comments

E: This post goes out to my cousin Susan (who just recently had a baby, congratulations again Susan!) because it was from her that I got this recipe. She served this at her wedding this summer (a really lovely backyard affair that a bunch of us got to help cook and decorate for) and I insisted that I had to have the recipe. It is totally vegetarian by the way, which is part of what struck me about it.

really good vegetarian baked beans

It has been quite a few months but we have finally made and posted this wonderful dish. It’s really easy to do if you plan ahead (dried beans take a while to soak and cook) but if you want to make things a bit more interesting you can take it that extra step. One of the recipe’s main ingredients is ketchup, so we figured we would make our own—especially because Joanna does not like bottled ketchup. What we thought would be just a hint of cinnamon came out a bit strong, but the truth of the matter is that it was a good first try. It’ll take some time to get the spicing of it right for me, because it definitely needed more kick. But the nice thing is you can just add more powdered onion and garlic at the time of service if need-be.

We used the beans to make tacos with our lovely fresh tortillas. They were really good the second, third, and even fourth night (yes this goes a long way). We just reheated the beans in a nonstick pan with some more ketchup and spices, and made fresh tortillas for each meal.


For ketchup: (This is based on a really basic recipe from epicurious, look up some other recipes and add some more flavors to it)
1 (28-oz) can whole tomatoes
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Add garlic powder (or roasted garlic), onion powder, black pepper, paprika,  mustard seed, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, or other spices to your tastes.

For the beans:
4 cups cooked dried beans (this means 4 cups of cooked beans, you’ll need to start with dry beans because canned beans won’t hold up as well)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, grated
1 apple, grated
2 tablesoons oil
1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1/2 cup ketchup (consider adding more, maybe 3/4 cup)
3/4 cup vegtable stock or water
salt, onion powder and garlic powder to taste (Susan suggests adding some balsamic vinegar, but we didn’t have any so we couldn’t try this out)

First off, get your dried beans ready. Basically, follow the package directions. Soak them overnight or in boiling water for an hour or so. Then drain them and rinse them, and get them simmering. They take a while to cook, so plan ahead.

To make the ketchup, start by sautéing the onion in olive oil until softened. While that’s happening, puree the canned tomato.

cooking the onion for the ketchup

Measure out whatever spices you want to start with, but remember you can adjust later if you have to.

brown sugar, paprika, cinnamon, cumin, salt, pepper

When the onion has softened, add the spices and the rest of the ingredients. Simmer on low to medium as it reduces down and becomes thick. This should take about an hour. Stir diligently, especially toward the end.

almost fully cooked down

Set this aside to cool just a bit. Then puree it, and place it in a vessel to chill in the fridge.

pureed fairly smooth

Now, when your beans are done cooking, you are good-to-go on the other part of this recipe.

Get your oven preheating to 350F.

Chop up the second onion, and sautée it on a little olive oil for a few minutes, at least enough to soften it but preferably enough to get some color on it. Then add your grated carrot and apple to the pot.

the mix-ins for the beans

Cover and cook for about 5 minutes over low heat.

Next, add your beans to a baking dish, putting in the cooked vegetables and the rest of the ingredients as well, along with any additional spices you want. Mix everything together, and place in the oven to bake for 45 minutes. The original recipe suggests baking it covered, but we removed the cover part way to let some liquid escape (for the last 15 minutes or so).

beans just before serving

While this is in the oven you’ve got enough time to make the flour tortillas I mentioned earlier. Grate on some cheese and you’ve got some tasty vegetarian tacos.  Enjoy!


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