You know how you lay slices of bacon on top of baked beans and they cook up all glorious? Except that they shrink up so much that when the beans are done only the center of your dish has bacon. And you’ll have like 5 slices but it’s impossible to cut them with the serving spoon so only 5 people actually get the bacon.
And the other people are walking around mumbling under their breath like, “That heifer just had to get that last slice of bacon.” And, “He was all ‘ooops, didn't mean to snag that bacon but oh well!’ knowing he hooked it with his thumb.” And “That youngin ain't got no raisin’ taking that bacon like that. His mama should teach him better. Bless her heart.”
And then there are the recipes that call for cooking the bacon first and crumbling it on top. But, as I've said many, many times around here, ain't nobody got time for that.
So here’s what I do! I mix up my very favorite baked beans then top them with a gozillion nuggets of bacon that crisp up and work their magic while the beans are cooking. End result? Bacon for everyone!
2 28-oz. cans cheap-o pork n’ beans*
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup barbeque sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
A few drops Liquid Smoke (optional)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
5-6 slices thick-cut bacon
Combine ketchup, barbeque sauce, brown sugar, mustard, worcestershire sauce, Liquid Smoke, garlic and pepper in a medium-sized bowl and mix well; set aside.
Open each can of beans and pour off all the standing liquid in the top of the can. Discard liquid and add beans to the ketchup mixture. Mix beans gently with the ketchup mixture until thoroughly combined then pour into a shallow 2-quart baking dish.
Cut bacon into 1/2 inch pieces then place pieces evenly in a single layer on top of beans. I like to kinda crumple each piece a bit instead of laying them flat – like little inchworms. The cute ride-on toys from the 80’s not actual worms because that’s gross. Bake beans, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 1 to 1.5 hours or until bacon is cooked through and starting to crisp. Enjoy!
*Not “baked beans” or “barbeque beans” or anything fancy like that as they’re already jazzed up. You just want plain jane, inexpensive "pork n' beans". I usually buy Van Camp’s (Libby’s in Canada). ALSO, be sure to keep the cans upright until you’re ready to cook. You want all the liquid to settle on top so you can pour it off.