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Grandma Brown’s Baked Beans Recipe

Grandma Brown’s baked beans recipe has been a cherished family secret for generations, and for good reason.

Known for its simplicity and deliciousness, this dish satisfies both the cook and those lucky to taste it.

You’ll need just a few essential items will transform these beans into a comfort food favorite.

Immerse yourself in this classic dish as you discover the little-known techniques that help make Grandma Brown’s baked beans stand out from the rest.

How to Make Grandma Browns Baked Beans

grandma browns baked beans recipe

Ingredients List

To make Grandma Brown’s Baked Beans, gather the following ingredients:

  • 3 cups dry navy beans
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 pound bacon or ham, diced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup pancake syrup
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Salt, to taste

Step-by-step process

Step 1: Soak the beans

Add the dry navy beans to a bowl and cover them with water.

Let them soak overnight.

After soaking, drain and rinse the beans thoroughly.

Step 2: Boil the beans

In a large saucepan, combine 6 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of baking soda.

Bring the water to a boil, add the soaked navy beans, and let them boil for 10 minutes.

Drain and set aside.

Step 3: Cook the bacon and onion

In a Dutch oven or a large oven-proof dish, cook the bacon or ham over medium heat until it turns golden brown.

Add the chopped medium onion and cook until it becomes translucent.

Step 4: Combine the ingredients

Add the boiled beans to the Dutch oven along with the brown sugar, pancake syrup, dry mustard, black pepper, and salt.

Mix all the ingredients well, coating the beans with the savory flavors.

Step 5: Bake the beans

Preheat your oven to 300°F (150°C).

Cover the Dutch oven or oven-proof dish with a lid or aluminum foil and bake the beans for 3 to 4 hours until they are tender and have absorbed the rich flavors of the sauce.

Step 6: Serve and enjoy

Once the beans are done, carefully remove the dish from the oven, and serve your delicious Grandma Brown’s Baked Beans as a side dish to your favorite main course or on their own as a nutritious source of protein.

Enjoy this family-favorite classic dish!

Side Dishes for Grandma Browns Baked Beans

Grandma Browns Baked Beans are the perfect addition to any backyard barbecue.

Alongside this hearty classic, you’ll want equally satisfying sides to accompany the meal.

Below is a list of mouthwatering options that pair brilliantly with Grandma Brown’s Baked Beans:

Grilled Corn on the Cob

You can’t go wrong with grilled corn on the cob.

This sweet and smoky staple complements the savory beans with a touch of butter and a sprinkle of salt.

It’s an effortless side dish that adds color to your plate.

Coleslaw

A cold, refreshing coleslaw balances the warmth and richness of baked beans.

With its crunchy texture and tangy dressing, this classic barbecue side dish brings a diverse flavor profile to your meal.

Potato Salad

A creamy potato salad is always a welcome addition to any backyard barbecue.

The combination of tender potatoes with a rich dressing creates an irresistible side dish that pairs excellently with baked beans, adding depth and variety to your meal.

Macaroni and Cheese

For a comfort food experience, serve some macaroni and cheese alongside your Grandma Brown’s Baked Beans.

The creamy, gooey goodness of macaroni and cheese pairs perfectly with the sweetness of the beans, creating a heartwarming and belly-filling meal.

Green Salad

Keeping things light and fresh, a green salad adds crisp contrast to the hearty baked beans.

With various vegetables and dressings, you can mix and match flavors that complement your baked beans and enhance your barbecue experience.

Remember to explore different variations and accompaniments with these side dishes to create your perfect backyard barbecue spread.

Enjoy your meal with family and friends, sharing the delight of Grandma Brown’s Baked Beans and these delicious side dishes!

Ingredient Substitutes

Brown Sugar Substitute

If you don’t have brown sugar, a good substitute is a mixture of white sugar and molasses.

Combine 1 cup of white sugar with 1 tablespoon of molasses to replicate the sweetness and texture of brown sugar.

Another option is using an equal amount of maple syrup or honey.

Navy Beans Substitute

Navy beans are a classic choice for baked beans, but if you don’t have them, you can use other beans like Great Northern beans, pinto beans, or cannellini beans.

These beans have a similar texture and will hold up well during baking.

Just be aware that the flavor might slightly differ.

Cups of Water Substitute

Instead of using plain water, consider using chicken or vegetable broth to add flavor to your baked beans.

The amount remains the same; just replace the cups of water with an equal amount of broth.

Bay Leaf Substitute

If you don’t have a bay leaf for this recipe, dried thyme or oregano can be used as a substitute.

Use about 1/4 teaspoon of either herb to replace 1 bay leaf.

These herbs will provide a slightly different flavor profile but add excellent depth to the dish.

Baking Dish Substitute

Various dishes can be used to bake your beans, such as a cast-iron skillet, a deep casserole, or a Dutch oven.

Just ensure your chosen vessel is oven-safe and has enough capacity to hold all the ingredients.

Maple Syrup Substitute

In case you don’t have maple syrup, you can use pancake syrup or even honey as an alternative to add sweetness to the beans.

Use the same amount as you would maple syrup.

Cooked Bacon Substitute

If you don’t have bacon or prefer a vegetarian option, use a couple of tablespoons of liquid smoke instead.

This will provide the smoky flavor typically associated with bacon.

Another option is using smoked paprika or chipotle powder for a similar effect.

Cold Water, Fresh Water, Boiling Water

For this recipe, you will use different types of water for various purposes, such as soaking the beans, boiling them, or adding them to the baking dish.

Whenever possible, use filtered water to ensure the best results.

Canned Beans

If you’re short on time, you can use canned navy beans instead of dried ones.

Make sure to drain and rinse the beans thoroughly before using them.

Remember that canned beans are often already cooked, so you might need to adjust the baking time accordingly.

Sour Cream

Although not a traditional ingredient in Grandma Brown’s baked beans, adding a dollop of sour cream as a garnish can enhance the dish’s flavor and texture.

It provides a creamy, tangy contrast to the sweet and smoky beans.

Secret Ingredient

While it’s unnecessary, you can always add your secret ingredient to personalize the recipe.

This could be a particular spice, a splash of your favorite hot sauce, or a unique seasoning blend.

Experiment and find the perfect addition to make the dish your own.

Use your intuition and knowledge to create a mouthwatering dish and adjust the substitute ingredients.

Enjoy the cooking process and share this delicious, comforting dish with friends and family.

How to Store Grandma Brown’s Baked Beans

Properly storing Grandma Brown’s baked beans is essential to retain their delicious taste and quality.

To ensure your beans stay fresh, follow these simple storage tips.

Firstly, when storing baked beans, it is crucial to use an airtight container to prevent the beans from getting exposed to air and picking up odors from your refrigerator.

Transfer the beans from their cooking pot to the container while still warm.

Let them cool down at room temperature for about 6-8 hours before sealing the container and placing it in the refrigerator.

Putting the beans in the fridge will help slow spoiling and keep the authentic deal flavor intact.

Remember that the cooking time may impact the beans’ texture and flavors, so storing them properly becomes even more critical.

If you’re planning to store Grandma Brown’s baked beans for an extended period, consider freezing them.

Freezing will help preserve the flavor and texture of the beans.

When you’re ready to enjoy them again, simply defrost the beans in the fridge overnight and reheat them gently to avoid overcooking.

Remember to use a freezer-safe airtight container for freezing the beans.

Storing Grandma Brown’s baked beans in an airtight container after cooling them down and placing them in the refrigerator or freezer will help maintain their freshness, flavor, and texture.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Here are some common mistakes to avoid when preparing Grandma Brown’s Baked Beans.

Using the Wrong Beans

It’s essential to use medium-sized navy beans for this recipe.

Using other beans may result in varied taste and texture, which could alter the authentic flavor of Grandma Brown’s baked beans.

Stick to navy beans to achieve that familiar taste.

Overcooking or Undercooking the Beans

Cooking the navy beans to the perfect consistency can be tricky.

Overcooked beans will turn mushy, while undercooked ones may remain too firm.

To avoid these issues, follow the recipe closely and test your beans periodically during cooking to ensure the right texture.

Insufficient Seasoning

Black pepper and other spices are vital in enhancing baked bean recipes’ flavor.

Be generous with your spices, especially with black pepper, to prevent under-seasoned beans.

Adjust the seasonings to your taste preferences, but don’t skimp on them.

Overloading the Casserole Dish

When assembling your baked beans in a casserole or inch baking dish, be cautious of overcrowding the dish.

This can lead to uneven cooking and undercooked areas in the beans.

Leave room at the top of the dish for proper cooking and browning.

Sacrificing Nutritional Benefits

Baked beans not only taste great but are also packed with essential nutrients.

A serving of Grandma Brown’s baked beans can provide substantial protein.

Don’t avoid adding other nourishing ingredients to your baked beans to maximize their nutritional value.

grandma browns baked beans recipe

Grandma Brown's Baked Beans Recipe

Known for its simplicity and deliciousness, this dish satisfies both the cook and those lucky to taste it.
Unfold a delightful culinary journey as we reveal this treasured recipe.
You'll be pleasantly surprised by the limited ingredients required for Grandma Brown's baked beans.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 5 minutes
Course Main Course
Servings 4
Equipment
  • 1 bowl
  • 1 Large saucepan
  • 1 large oven-proof dish
Ingredients
  
  • 3 cups dry navy beans
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 pound bacon or ham diced
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup pancake syrup
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Salt to taste
Instructions
 
  • Add the dry navy beans to a bowl and cover them with water.
    Let them soak overnight.
    After soaking, drain and rinse the beans thoroughly.
  • In a large saucepan, combine 6 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of baking soda.
    Bring the water to a boil, add the soaked navy beans, and let them boil for 10 minutes.
    Drain and set aside.
  • In a Dutch oven or a large oven-proof dish, cook the bacon or ham over medium heat until it turns golden brown.
    Add the chopped medium onion and cook until it becomes translucent.
  • Add the boiled beans to the Dutch oven along with the brown sugar, pancake syrup, dry mustard, black pepper and salt.
    Mix all the ingredients well, coating the beans with the savory flavors.
  • Preheat your oven to 300°F (150°C).
    Cover the Dutch oven or oven-proof dish with a lid or aluminum foil and bake the beans for 3 to 4 hours until they are tender and have absorbed the rich flavors of the sauce.
  • Once the beans are done, carefully remove the dish from the oven, and serve your delicious Grandma Brown's Baked Beans as a side dish to your favorite main course or on their own as a nutritious source of protein.
    Enjoy this family-favorite classic dish!

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