Sweet Beans with Bacon and Maple Syrup

Serves: 12 / Preparation time: 25 minutes

Total time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

6 slices bacon, diced large 
2 cloves garlic, minced 
1 large onion, peeled, chopped 
1 red pepper, cored, diced 
3 cans (15 ounces each) pinto beans, drained (not rinsed) 
1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes 
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste 
½ cup dark brown sugar 
¼ cup maple syrup or substitute molasses 
1 cup ketchup 
½ cup yellow mustard 
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 
Favorite red hot pepper sauce to taste 
Salt and black pepper to taste

In a large pot, cook the bacon over medium heat until it is just crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon pieces and set aside. Drain off all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat (or you can remove it all and instead add 1 tablespoon canola oil to the pot). Add the garlic and sauté 1 minute. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until it is dark golden brown and caramelized. Add the red pepper and sauté until tender. Stir in the beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, brown sugar, maple syrup, ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and red hot pepper sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to very low and simmer 1 hour or until flavors meld. Taste and adjust seasonings. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the bacon pieces until heated through.

From and tested by Susan M. Selasky for the Free Press Test Kitchen.

225 calories (20% from fat), 5 grams fat (1 gram sat. fat), 40 gramscarbohydrates, 8 grams protein, 531 mg sodium, 7 mgcholesterol, 6 grams fiber.

Courtesy of:  http://www.freep.com/article/20130701/FEATURES02/307010070/Sweet-Beans-Bacon-Maple-Syrup

Dori Ross