Franks and Beans. Yes, Franks and Beans.
My savory brain is in charge these days.
By ‘savory brain’ I mean that all I want to eat are hot dogs, bacon, and cheese. You know, summer diet. (Did I mention?… Weird amounts of cheese.) I don’t know. Someone shake me to my senses (or bring more cheese and bacon THANKS!).
Today I’m bringing you a homemade mashup of a dish made famous (in my heart) by canned pork and beans and my grandmother’s baked beans.
We’re soaking navy beans, frying bacon, adding fresh pineapple (just like my grandmother does), and adding hot dogs because what are beans without franks? … Still beans, just not nearly as righteous.
Here’s what we’re throwing in a pot with beans:
• Bacon. We want it for the flavor and the fat.
• Ketchup, BBQ sauce, mustard, Worcestershire sauce (adds a very nice savory umami flavor), and chili powder.
• Sweetness comes from maple syrup, brown sugar, and molasses, and fresh diced pineapple.
• Onions, green pepper, and garlic too!
• And hot dogs!? This is a pot of dreams.
I soaked navy beans overnight because beans go from stubborn little stones to soft and compliant with a pretty simple amount of soaking and boiling.
If you’d like to use canned beans, our girl Ree has a great recipe for baked beans here.
Beans are first softened a good overnight soaking and draining.
They’ll simmer on the stovetop in vegetable or chicken broth to soften them even further before they’re baked in the oven.
While the beans simmer, I stirred together all the spicy sweet addition to the beans. All the sweet and savory elements in one bowl before they’re added to the beans.
The bacon is cooked, just to crisp it slightly and render the fat. The fat we’ll use to cook down the onions, pepper, garlic, and pineapple. See how well this is going so far?
Simmered beans are drained (the liquid is reserved, too) and added to the onion mixture. Give em a stir.
The sweet and savory sauce is added to the beans.
Trust me when I tell you that things smell very very good.
Time for the franks.
The beans (if you’ll remember they still aren’t cooked through entirely) will be covered with a bit of their simmering liquid that we’ve reserved. This will simmer and soften the beans with flava and cook down to be a thick and dreamy sauce in the oven.
The pot becomes a Dutch oven, softening the beans, tenderizing the franks, deepening the flavors, and thickening the sauce It’s so good. It hits all of my sweet, savory, meaty needs in one big bite.
I used a dutch oven for this recipe. You may have a crock pot on hand, and I would encourage you to get all of the ingredients, simmered, sauteed, and whisked just as the recipe suggests before throwing it all in a crock pot for 4 to 5 hours. Any way you go, oven or crock, just simmer until the beans are soft bites of perfection.
- 1 1/2 cups dried navy beans
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth, or water
- 6 slices thick cut bacon
- 1 small onion, diced (about 3/4 cup)
- 1 green bell pepper (cored and diced)
- 1/2 cup finely diced fresh pineapple
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup ketchup
- 1/3 cup bbq sauce
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
- 4 hot dogs, sliced
- Place navy beans in a large pot or bowl and cover with water. Enough water that covers about 3-inches over the beans. Allow to soak overnight then drain. Alternately, if you don't have time, place beans in a large pot and cover the beans with several inches of water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once the water boils, remove from heat and allow the beans to soak for 1 hour then drain.
- Heat a large, oven-safe pot over medium heat. Add soaked and drained beans and 6 cups of broth or water. Bring to a simmer and simmer uncovered for 1 hour.
- In a separate saucepan, over medium heat cook bacon slices until the fat is rendered (The bacon doesn't need to be cooked through as it will go in the oven and cook much more.) Remove from the pan (leaving the fat in the pan), and place on a plate and set aside.
- Add the onions, bell pepper, and garlic to the pot with the bacon fat. Cook until softened and just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the pineapple and cook for 1 minute more. Set aside.
- While the beans simmer and the bacon and onions cook, stir together the bean sauce. In a medium bowl whisk together ketchup, bbq sauce, brown sugar, maple syrup, molasses, dijon, Worcestershire, salt, pepper, and chili powder. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Drain the simmered beans, reserving about 4 cups of liquid.
- In the large saucepan combine simmered beans, cooked onion mixture, sauce, and sliced hot dogs. Add enough of the reserved broth to just cover the beans by about 1/4-inch.
- Cover the pot with an oven-safe lid and place in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir. Reduce heat to 300 degrees F, uncover and return to the oven and cook for 1 hour. Replace the lid reduce the oven temperature to 250 degrees F, add the bacon slices to the top of the beans, and cook for an additional 2 hours or until the beans are cooked through. Add more salt or pepper to taste and enjoy warm!