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    Recipe for quick baked beans on the fire

    Quick baked beans on the fire.
    FOOD STYLING BY SHERYL JULIAN AND DEBRA SAMUELS; photo by essdras m suarez/globe staff
    Quick baked beans on the fire.

    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.

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

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    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