If you try this recipe, I know you will probably end up modifying it to your family's taste. We have made a few changes to Betty's (also yummy) original recipe. We leave out the 1/2 pound ground beef that the recipe said to brown with the bacon, and instead of partially draining the cans of beans, I fully drain them and even rinse them in a colander (except for the pork & beans). This will eliminate a lot of the salt--we think it also eliminates some of the sulfur compounds that build up in the can and make canned beans extra gassy.
You can use between 3 and 5 cans of beans in the amount of sauce given. Of course, fewer cans of beans make for a juicier dish. And you can use your family's favorite types of beans. For nice variety in size and color in the dish pictured, I used 5 cans total--one very large can of pork & beans (a 2# can, I think) plus 2 one-pound cans each of butter beans and black beans.
MIXED BEAN BAKE
1/2# bacon, cut in pieces (I use Gwaltney's 40% lower fat bacon--it's delicious.)
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup ketchup
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. mustard
2 tsp. cider vinegar
3 - 5 cans of beans, including one large can of pork & beans, partially drained
and 2 - 4 other types, well drained and rinsed
Brown the bacon, adding onions once the bacon starts to crisp. Drain well on paper towels when done to your liking.
Combine the ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, and vinegar in a large bowl and mix well. Add all beans and mix well. Finally, stir in bacon and onion and turn into a large casserole (3 quart size if you are using 5 cans of beans).
Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven until hot and bubbly (from about 40 minutes for 3 cans of beans to about 50 minutes for 5 cans.).
Question of the day: What are your favorite summer party side dishes?