I watched The Chew again the other day [totally shocking, I know], and I saw this little number. I decided to make it for our Easter get together with our family a while back. It's got a great balance of flavor to begin with, and you can definitely sub the canned beans for the dry if you want to make it easier.
Michael Symon (looooove him) is from Cleveland, so he whipped these lovely legumes together based on the flavors of his hometown. These are the definition of summer BBQ beans. They're tangy, savory, bacon-y, and his original recipe is very easy to follow.
I added a little more ketchup to mine because I felt like it needed a little more zip. That's the great thing about beans - you can just add a little more flavor here and there according to your taste buds. The longer these cook, the better they get, too. If you don't want to have your oven on for the cook time, you can always use your slow cooker (see recipe below for instructions).
Michael Symon's Cleveland Baked Beans
1/2 lb. bacon, chopped
1 white onion, diced
2 jalapeños, seeded, membranes removed, diced
3 tbs. tomato paste
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
2/3 cup ketchup
1/2 cup yellow mustard
5 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce
5 tsp. apple cider vinegar
2 lb. dry northern beans (soaked overnight in 3” water)*
10 cups water
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 350**.
In a large Dutch oven, cook the bacon until crispy. Remove bacon to a paper-towel lined plate and allow to drain. Add the onion and jalapeño to the bacon drippings and cook until softened (about 5 minutes), stirring occasionally. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the molasses, light brown sugar, maple syrup, ketchup, mustard, soy sauce, and apple cider vinegar.
Drain the soaked beans and add them to the Dutch oven, stirring to coat. Add the water and bring to a boil. Stir, then reduce to a simmer. Cover the beans and transfer them to the oven. Cook 3-4 hours until all the beans are tender, stirring occasionally.
Once the beans are tender, season to taste with salt and pepper.
*You can also substitute canned beans.
**You can also cook these in a slow cooker on high. Simply dump the beans and the onion mixture into a large Crock Pot, stir to combine, cover, and cook until beans are tender.