Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Austin Baked Beans

This recipe for baked beans is from Sheila Lukin's, cookbook, "USA."  I became  a follower of Sheila Lukins when I bought my copy of her book "The Silver Palate." The pages of the book are stained from the use it got.
Sheila Lukins studied at the Cordon Bleu Cooking School in London.  When she moved back to the states, she operated a catering business out of her apartment named "The Other Woman Catering Company."  She met her future business partner, Julee Rosso, at an event she was catering.  They opened a Food Shop in Manhattan known as  The Silver Palate Food Shop.  They also wrote several cookbooks together before going their separate ways.
Sadly, Sheila Lukins passed away in August of 2009.  She left us with a treasure of wonderful recipes.

One of my favorite recipe is for Austin Baked Beans.  You have beans cooked in a rich sweet tomato sauce with bacon, honey baked ham, smoked pork chop, and Granny Smith Apples.   I modified the recipe ever so slightly.  I use crushed tomatoes instead of diced tomatoes (my family is not a fan of tomato chunks) and I cooked the beans in a crock pot and not in the oven.  Otherwise the recipe is as Sheila wrote it.

Austin Baked Beans
Adapted Slightly from "USA" by Sheila Lukins

Special Equipment:  Crock pot - 3 1/2 quart


1 pound dried navy beans
6 ounces slab bacon, rind removed, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 green bell pepper, stemmed. seeded. and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 red bell pepper, stemmed. seeded. and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 cup ketchup
3/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/4  cup dark molasses
1 tablespoon  Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
1/2 pound honey-baked ham, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 smoked pork chop (about 1/2 pound) cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch cubes

Salt, to taste


1. Pick over the beans, discarding any stones.  Soak them overnight in cold water to cover by 2 inches.
2. Drain the beans, rinse in several changes of cold water, and drain again.
3. Place the beans in a large heavy pot and add water to cover by 2 inches.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer until the beans are just tender but not mushy, about 45 minutes.  While the beans are cooking, skim off any foam that rises to the top.  Drain and set aside.
4. Place the bacon in a skillet.  Cook over low heat until the fat is just rendered - do not brown the bacon.  Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set it aside.  Add the onion to the skillet and cook over low heat until wilted. Add both bell peppers and cook, stirring for another 5 minutes. Set aside.
5. Place the ketchup, brown sugar, honey, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, and dry mustard in a large mixing bowl.  Stir until well mixed.
6. Add the tomatoes to the ketchup mixture.  Stir well.  Add the ham, pork chop, beans, bacon, onions, peppers, and apples to the mixture.  Stir until all ingredients are well mixed.
7. Pour the bean mixture into a crock pot.  Cook on low for 8-10 hours.
8. Season with salt.  Serve.

Beans Soaking

Ketchup, Brown Sugar, Honey, Molasses

Tomatoes Added

Everything All Mixed Together

Ready To Cook


  1. Bill LOVES baked beans...and I know I have that cookbook floating around here somewhere. Thanks for the recommendation...this would be great on the 4th!

  2. Baked beans is a favorite in my house, too! This recipe looks wonderful…I have all the books by Shelia Lukins and Julie Russo! The Silver Palette is an all time favorite! Have a great weekend, Geri!