Three Alarm Baked Beans – every recipe has a story

These are not three alarm baked beans because they are hot and spicy. The three alarm refers to the actual fire squad that turned up at my house because of these tasty beauties.

The guy next door is a wonderful guy. A firefighter who saves lives and a good neighbor who does things like build wheelchair ramps or paints the house of those in need of a hand. Every once and a while he knocks on our door to tell us that our awning has fallen off or our gutter is clogged and pouring rain into his basement or perhaps our fence is starting to tilt. We fix these things rather quickly, but I imagine that every day he looks longingly out onto our lawn hoping for a “For Sale” sign. This is the story of one of the times he knocked on our door. I was putting togther a batch of these tasty beans and I put them in the oven and went up to take a shower. I came downstairs to firefighters pounding on the door. It was especially wonderful because Tim had moved his entire collection of comic books out of the basement to reprice causing our downstairs to look like an episode of Hoarders. Nothing was on fire. But a dime sized drop of liquid from the beans had spilled out into the oven and began to smoke. It began to pour out the window over the sink directly into our neighbor’s house. I didn’t hear it because I was in the shower. Our neighbor heard the smoke alarm beeping and being a firefighter immediately sprang into action. He pounded on my door; but of course I didn’t hear him. I got out of the shower to the sound of fire trucks and pounding on my door. But in the end, everything was fine and the beans turned out pretty good.  Here’s how to make them.

Start with these. A couple cans of your favorite brand of baked beans.

Now dice up some bacon. I like the slab stuff, but sliced works fine. You could leave out the bacon and make this vegetarian. But I weep for you if you do.

Now fry up the bacon and while it’s cooking you can add the following to those canned baked beans:

Diced Onions – the ratio is entirely dependent on how much onion you like in things. For these two cans I used a whole shallot.

Garlic Powder- not garlic salt.  A good shake or around a teaspoon.

About a tablespoon of mustard for two cans of beans. I like honey Dijon. But use whatever you like or even a teaspoon of dry mustard instead.

Now put in around half a cup of your favorite BBQ sauce. I’m a huge fan of Bullseye. Or if you prefer, you could even use a dry rub you like.

Also add about a 1/4 cup of brown sugar. I kind of like things sweet.

After you’ve drained that bacon on a paper towel, stir it in.

Now you can either put it in a slow cooker and leave it to go for a few hours or bake it at 425 in a 9 x 13 pan for about an hour. I actually prefer the baking because it evaporates more of the liquid and the sugar gives it a nice crust. If you do bake it, remember to put a baking sheet under the pan to catch the drips. Otherwise, you might have a problem.  Trust me. Remember, Smoke Detectors Save Lives.

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