Root Beer Baked Beans

I hope I don’t lose credibility by admitting that until this week, I have never made baked beans. It isn’t that I don’t love them, or thought them overly complicated, it just never was top of mind. But, when I was looking for a different side for my whiskey butter steak, this beans recipe just jumped out at me.

After making this recipe, the thought of buying baked beans and heating them in a saucepan won’t cross my mind – in only 45 minutes you can have amazing baked beans that not only have that rustic home-cooked flavor, but also have bacon. And let’s face it, everything is better with bacon.

Thanks to Bon Appetit for this recipe. It will certainly now become my “go to” for beans!

ROOT BEER BAKED BEANS

4 slices applewood-smoked bacon, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
3 1/2 cups chopped onions
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 15-ounce cans cannellini (white kidney beans), rinsed, drained
1 1/2 cups root beer (preferably artisanal)
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons mild-flavored (light) molasses
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400°F. Cook bacon in large ovenproof pot over medium heat until crisp, stirring occasionally. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels. Add onions to drippings in pot; cook until beginning to brown, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Add garlic; stir 1 minute. Add beans, root beer, vinegar, molasses, tomato paste, mustard, chili powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper; mix. Stir in bacon; bring to boil. Transfer to oven; bake uncovered until liquid thickens, about 30 minutes.
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