Inspired by Jamie Oliver’s rendition of lumberjack baked beans, our recipe features a medley of beans, bacon (which, of course, makes every dish better), and a sweet-savory sauce made with brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, dry mustard and ginger — yes, ginger! It’s the little something extra that will leave your dinner guests wondering what makes this dish so good.
To make the sauce, combine brown sugar, vinegar, mustard, ginger and salt. You’ll set this aside while you sizzle up the bacon and sauté diced onions in the bacon fat. (Repeat: Bacon makes every dish better!) Pour the brown sugar mixture into the skillet with the onions. Simmer the sauce for 10 minutes to marry the made-for-each-other flavors.
Did you notice that this recipe calls for canned beans? They’re a convenient ingredient that will save you time and trouble in the kitchen. Combine the beans in a casserole dish, then add the bacon and the sauce. Cover the dish and bake for one hour. Uncover it, then bake an additional 30 minutes. Though our lumberjack baked beans need serious oven time, the actual hands-on time for the recipe is delightfully short. As a bonus, you’ll have a hunger-inducing aroma wafting through your house.
Brown sugar provides just the right amount of sweetness in this baked beans dish, but be make sure you use brown sugar rather than white sugar. Brown sugar, also known as raw sugar, is 96% pure. White sugar is pure calories.
Pour apple cider vinegar over brown sugar
Apple cider vinegar by itself doesn’t take great (although it’s a super healthy tonic that you can take daily shots of), but you won’t taste it in this dish.
Add ginger to mixture
We love ginger – it not only adds a zesty, peppery flavor to balance out the brown sugar, but it has a list of health benefits. Most importantly, it helps to better brain function!
Whisk sauce together
The mixture should be nice and thick!
Add bacon to hot pan
We used full-fat bacon but you can opt for turkey bacon if you want a lighter alternative. Cook the bacon over medium-high heat – you can cut it into bacon bits before or after cooking.
Remove cooked bacon and place to the side
Keep turning the bacon until it is crispy.
Add chopped onion to hot bacon grease
You can buy the onions pre-chopped at most grocery store or doing the chopping yourself – just make sure you have eye drops nearby! Cook them over medium-heat until their soft and golden brown.
Save leftover bacon fat (if you have any) for other recipes like bacon fat pancakes and bacon fat potato soup!
Pour sauce mix over onions
White onions contain fiber and folic acid – a B vitamin that assists the body in making new healthy cells.
Let the mixture and onions simmer for 8-10 minutes.
Add red kidney beans to bean mixture
The dark red, firm beans are low in fat and rich in complex carbohydrates, minerals, proteins and vitamins.
Add cooked bacon to dish
If you want a little spice in your lumberjack baked beans, you can also add chopped jalapeño.
Pour sauce over beans
There’s no right or wrong way to do this – just make sure the beans and garlic are thoroughly coated.
Combine the mixture well
Using a rubber scraper, mix and even out the beans and brown sugar mixture.
Lumberjack baked beans are the perfect addition to a summer cookout!
Place a lid or aluminum foil over the top of the dish. Bake for 1 hour covered. Remove the dish from the oven, stir the beans, and cook uncovered for an additional 30 minutes. Then stir one last time and enjoy!