Recipe for quick baked beans on the fire

Photos by Essdras M Suarez/Globe Staff

Quick baked beans on the fire

Serves 4

Make these baked beans with small white canned beans, bacon, and seasonings. The flavor is light, not cloyingly sweet or over-sauced like commercial canned beans, where sugar is often a main ingredient. Instead of the traditional salt pork, use strips of smoky uncured bacon. Set a cast-iron pot on your stove or over a fire’s embers.

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3 slices bacon, cut into thirds
1 small onion, chopped
2 cans (about 15 ounces each) small white beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons molasses
1 teaspoon English mustard powder
2 teaspoons salt
½ cup water

1. Heat a deep cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the bacon and cook for 1 minute. Add the onion and cook for 8 minutes, stirring often, or until it softens.

2. Stir in the beans, tomato sauce and paste, molasses, mustard powder, salt, and water until well combined. Bring to a boil.

3. Set a cake rack over the log rack, making sure it is stable. With a fireplace tool, distribute the embers so they form a thin layer. Set the pot on the rack. Cook the beans for 15 minutes or until they are flavorful.

4. Remove the cover and cook, stirring often, 1 minute more. Discard the bacon, taste for seasoning, and add more salt, if you like.  Debra Samuels