If there is a meat lover in your household as there is mine, this recipe definitely is for you.
This recipe came about because the beans were given to me by a friend & neighbor. I had all of the other ingredients. WHAT TO DO WITH A GALLON OF BAKED BEANS. I told her I would make them & give her half for her family.
I already have 5 recipes posted for Baked Beans, & because my friend has 2 family members that are Diabetic & I am too, I decided to try making these using a zero calorie sweetener. A new twist with less calories.
They RAVED THAT THESE WERE THE BEST BAKED BEANS THEY EVER HAD.
This recipe is very similar to my FAMILY'S ALL TIME FAVORITE FAMILY REUNION BAKED BEAN RECIPE THAT I HAVE BEEN MAKING MORE THAN 45 YEARS, IT JUST HAS MORE MEAT AND USES A zero calorie sweetener, instead of sugar. THERE IS NO BROWN SUGAR IN THIS RECIPE. YOU CAN CUT THE RECIPE IN HALF IF YOU ARE COOKING FOR LESS PEOPLE. THEY ALSO FREEZE WELL, BUT I NEVER HAVE ANY TO FREEZE. Add liquid smoke if you have it for that smoky flavor, I was out of it & didn't use any. But the bacon ends had some smoky flavor. Preheat OVEN TO 350 DEGREES F. Recipe has LESS SUGAR than traditional Baked Beans, but DOES NOT HAVE LESS CALORIES.
Cook ground beef in a large pot and drain if there is any excess fat. I cooked this one day and made the beans on the next day to save time.
Add coconut oil or other cooking oil to large pot, heat on medium high heat I used a large 5 gallon pot with a TRI-PLY BOTTOM, it helps to prevent the food from sticking during cooking.
Add the chopped onions and peppers and saute over medium high heat about 8-10 minutes until transparent.
Now add the precooked ground beef to the pot, and stir to blend with the peppers and onions.
Add in the Barbeque Sauce, Catsup & mustard, & stir till blended together. I usually use Heinz Catsup in everything but because I was mixing the catsup with other ingredients and adding tomato Paste, I chose to use a cheap generic catsup and BBQ Sauce instead of my regular favorites.
Add in the molasses, tomato paste, & Splenda, and liquid smoke if using,. stir till mixed and continue to cook over medium high heat. Stirring to prevent sticking to bottom of pot.
Pour Baked Beans into a colander and drain until most of the excess liquid is gone, then add the beans to the big pot and mix with a large spoon and continue to cook. LOWER THE HEAT EVEN LOWER WHILE YOU COOK THE BACON ENDS AND PIECES until they are crisp.
I find it much easier to cook the ends and pieces on a large platter lined with paper towel then covered with a second double layer of paper towel. cook till crisp. Cut cup the pieces of bacon if needed, or process in a food processor. Remove the rind if using slab bacon ends & pieces BEFORE COOKING. IT IS EASIER. Repeat until all of the bacon ends has been cooked.
When all the ends have been cooked add to the simmering bean pot, and stir to blend in.
Continue cooking the beans over low heat, and constantly stirring to prevent sticking, while you pre cook the bacon slices for the top. I like to pre cook the bacon slices to remove most of the excess fat.
Spray 2 9X13 Deep dish pans with cooking spray, then divide the bean mixture evenly between the two pans. Top with sliced precooked bacon. Then Bake in preheated 350 degree F. oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour till bubbly and heated through.