Gram’s Baked Beans

My grandmother liked beans, all kinds of beans, she had beans boiling on the stove every day, it seemed like. She also used to put her apple cores on the electric burners and then she’d turn them on low. This drove my Gramps insane because he thought it was a fire hazard. Gram called it “early potpourri” (after, of course, potpourri became the thing).


I never ate Gram’s beans because she boiled them so much, they were all globby and they freaked me out.

But Gram’s Baked Beans were the bomb.

If possible for your wallet, get yourself a Le Creuset Dutch oven because you’ll need an easy-clean dish after this one (we’re talking baked-on, burnt-on mess here). And Le Creuset is simply the best.

Gram’s Baked Beans

  • Prep Time

    20 min
  • Cook Time

    3hr 0 min
  • Serves

Gram’s Baked Beans


  • 3 Cans Baked Beans
  • 4 - 6 tablespoons Brown Sugar (dark, light, doesn’t matter – in the UK, use muscovado sugar)
  • 1 Onion (white or yellow)
  • 6 slices/rashers of bacon
  • All condiments in your fridge (no joke)

How to do it…

  1. Okay, again, the day before or, at least HOURS before, get out your casserole dish and preheat your oven to 150°C /300°F.
  2. Chop up the onion, just roughly, no mincing or any real effort needed here, you don’t want huge chunks but it doesn’t have to be tiny. If your eyes start stinging, you’re working way too hard.
  3. Dump your baked beans in the Dutch oven. Then take scissors to your bacon, again, no huge chunks, but it also doesn’t have to be bacon bits, little strips’ll do. Throw in the chopped onion. Spoon in the brown sugar (as you experiment, you may want more (I use more) or less than 4-6 tablespoons, but that’s good to start).
  4. Then, squirt in everything you got in your fridge. I'm talking a big, old SQUIRT (or two, or three, or four). American mustard, English mustard, Dijon mustard. Ketchup, Caesar salad dressing, Italian dressing. HP Sauce (in the UK). BBQ Sauce. A1 and/or Heinz 57 (in the US). Pickle (that’s English pickle, not American pickles). Anything (just not mayonnaise, not that this is bad, just that I’ve never used it so I can’t recommend it). Throw in a couple of pinches of salt and some cracked pepper. Once you’re done dumping, scissoring, pinching and squirting, stir all this up. Then, rule of thumb, go BACK and put in another tablespoon of sugar, and one more squirt of everything, another pinch of salt and more pepper.
  5. Then, stir again, put the lid on, set this baby on a cookie (baking) sheet and put it in the oven (don’t forget this part as you don’t want this on the bottom of your oven if it bubbles out of the casserole). Let it bake for a good 3-4 even 5 hours. DO NOT STIR. Do not touch this at all. Just let it bake. When you're ready to serve, pull it out, open it up, and voila! Total gorgeousness! Or, if you cooked it before, just heat it up and again, voila! Gorgeousness!


There are never any leftovers of these, or, if there are, they are scant as people don’t want to appear gluttonous as they devour this stuff, so they leave, like, twelve beans at the bottom of the casserole. I have never served this when people didn’t love it. I think I’d fear someone was a Martian if they didn’t think this was the bomb.

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