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Summer grilling season has to be about my favorite time of year because the kitchen moves outside for a few months. After being inside all winter, its refreshing to be outdoors working the grill while I watch JP and Melody play. Our outdoor dinners are filled with grilled meats, veggies and mouthwatering sides that can be prepared indoors and one of my favorites is baked beans. Whenever we have company and grill out, I love to make my southern style baked beans (with a kick of Coca-Cola™) to add a little sweetness.
Memorial day is not too far off and we’ll very likely be making this family favorite. As much as it’s about getting together and having a good time with our favorite people, we have many military friends and family whom we love to honor on that day as well. I was at Sam’s Club recently and noticed they had flats of Coca-Cola™ specifically made for supporting USO and military families. Learn more about how Coca-Cola™ has partnered with USO in sending care packages to our service members stationed all over the world and how you can help with a small donation. USO hopes to donate between 3000-5000 care packages.
Watch out because this side is full of flavor and insanely easy to make!
For starters, I always invest in some good quality bacon that is a cut above the rest because it makes a huge difference in the end result. The Coca-Cola™ sweetens and caramelizes the bacon and the bacon stands on its own for flavor.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Prep time: 20 min Cook time: 1h 30min Yield: 6-8 servings
- 2 cans of pork n beans
- 5 or 6 strips of uncooked bacon
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 finely chopped green bell pepper
- 1 clove of garlic finely chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1/4 cup of Coca-Cola™
Star by cutting up the pepper and the onions and set them aside. Cut the bacon strips into small bite-size pieces and throw them in a hot skillet to cook. Cook them until they have some color and are rubbery in texture.
I couldn’t resist frying up some full bacon strips too – just because..
Once you are done cooking the bacon, don’t drain that fat just yet!! This is where I add my diced onions, bell peppers and garlic to the hot fat and cook them up (about 2 min) before I simmer them with the beans. When they are done, scoop them out and drain them.
In a bowl, combine the 2 cans of pork and beans, the sauteed veggies, brown sugar, molasses, Coca-Cola™, ketchup, mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Once it is well mixed up together, I smoothed it out into a baking dish and topped it off with my bits of bacon.
Bake for about 1 hour at 325F. You will not be sorry!
Last but no least, don’t forget to enjoy a cold Coca-Cola™!
What are some of your traditional family recipes?