Baked beans!! Now thems some summertime eats. Usually, the preparation is like this- dump some canned beans into a casserole dish, add some chopped onion and maybe a sprinkle or two of brown sugar, then top with slices of bacon. Bake until bubbly and happy. The Tony Twist on this one is a little root beer flavor- never hurts to shake up the standard every now and then.
It's a quick and easy recipe, and practically necessary for any summer picnic-type event.
Root Beer Baked Beans
6 side dish servings
4-6 slices applewood smoked bacon, cut into 1"
3.5 C yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
60 oz cannellini or white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1.5 C good root beer
3 TB apple-cider vinegar
3 TB light molasses
2 TB tomato paste
2 TB good dijon mustard
1.5 ts chili powder, medium spice
1 ts kosher
1 ts pepper
Fire up the hotbox to four honey. In a large dutch oven (not the one with blankets), render the bacon fat over medium heat until the pieces are cooked but not crispy, then remove with a slotted spoon onto paper towel. Add the onions and cook, stirring often, for about 8-10 minutes or until soft and starting to brown. Add the garlic and stir constantly for 30 seconds, then stir in the tomato paste and stir for another 30. Add the beans, root beer, molasses, dijon, and seasonings.
Stir the cooked bacon back in while bringing the mixture to a boil, then transfer to the oven. Bake uncovered for about 25-30 minutes, or until the liquid thickens up nicely. Check seasonings, then serve. And of course, sing a few versus of the bean song. Magical fruit!!
Use the best quality root beer you can procure, I found some Sprecher's at the local mega mart.