Chile-Spiked Baked Beans

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A Big Breakfast is a truly magical thing.

There’s just nothing quite like waking up late on the weekend and tucking into a big, hearty breakfast with friends and family. Total perfection! And if you stayed out a tad late, or have gotten into a bit of trouble, these little gems will absolutely get you back to feeling like a million bucks.

Growing up in the Maritimes, baked beans have always played a solid role in my comforting, winter weather – influenced diet. They’re the total comfort food package, and pair perfectly with most every meal. One of the best thing about baked bean? The Pulse love. Delicious, healthy, sustainable, and chock-full of nostalgia.

Pulses are awesome y’all.

The United Nations has declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses. How cool is that?! But, what are Pulses exactly? Glad you asked…

I’m so excited to have partnered with the fantastic Pulse Pledge program this year. Pulses are dried beans, dried chickpeas, lentils, and dried peas. Total superhero ingredient! They’re incredibly delicious, sustainable, healthy, and budget-friendly. So much win! From chili to curry, and here in killer baked beans, pulses have an extra-special ability to elevate simple, home-style recipes to wholesome rock star dishes.

Make your 2016 The Year of Pulses, take the #pulsepledge, and start to incorporate this deliciousness into your weekly meal plan. You’ll feel better, eat better, and help folks all over the world eat/live/thrive. For more information on the Pulse Pledge, and a treasure trove of recipes to help start you on your pulse journey, head to Pulsepledge.com.

This are my all-time, desert island baked beans. I love everything about them. Smoky, sweet, and full of comforting deliciousness. Perfect heart-happy eating.

Chile-Spiked Baked Beans

Serves a lot of hungry people

2-pounds dry navy beans

½ pound bacon, cut into 1/2 –inch pieces

2 onions, finely diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup ketchup

1 cup chicken stock

½ cup pure maple syrup

1/3 cup dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons sea salt, plus more as needed

1 tablespoon chile powder

½ tablespoon smoked paprika

Sort through the dry beans, picking and discarding any discolored or strange looking beans. Rinse the whole lot well, then transfer to a large bowl. Cover with at least 2 inches of cold water, cover with plastic wrap, and let the beans soak overnight.

The next day, drain the beans and transfer them to a stock pot. Cover again with 2 inches of cold water and bring them to a boil over medium-high heat. When boiling, turn off the heat and let the beans soak for 1 hour to tenderize and get extra awesome. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

Heat a super large Dutch oven (or oven-safe pot) over medium-heat.

Add the bacon and, stirring often, fry until just starting to crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the diced onion and season with a pinch of salt. Cook for 5 minutes, until the onion has started to soften and become translucent. Stir in the garlic and tomato paste, and cook for 1 minute, keeping the mixture moving the entire time.

Add the ketchup, stock, maple, sugar, Dijon, salt, and spices, and stir until smooth. Stir in the navy beans. Cover and bake for 5 hours, until the beans are perfectly soft, the sauce is thickened beautifully, and the kitchen smells like absolute heaven. Cook for another 30 minutes uncovered to crisp up the top of the beans.

Serve. So awesome.

Note!*** If the beans get a tad dry throughout the cooking process, thin with a bit of that reserved cooking liquid. These beans are delicious straight away, but completely next-level eating the next day. Awesome.

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