This tangy, sweet-savory dish was one of Dad's favorites. He made it a lot. He preferred to use bacon, but if he didn't have that, he would use Polish Sausage links, or even hot dogs, cut up. Or he would have it on the side with whole Polish Sausage links. He also loved making it when we had a barbeque dinner, with either potato or macaroni salad. He didn't like it really soupy or too runny, he preferred it to be really thick, so it would stand in a pile on his plate. So he used a little extra sugar and baked it a good length of time. Even right now, I can still smell that sweet, bacon / onion smell that used to fill the house, whenever he made these....
Dad’s Baked Beans
½ tablespoon cooking oil
1 large onion, diced
½ pound bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces
2 cans (16 oz.) pork and beans
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
¼ cup maple syrup
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons ketchup
1. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat, add the onions and bacon. Stir and cook until onions become clear and bacon is crisp. Remove from heat, drain the fat and set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
3. In a cast iron skillet, Dutch oven or baking dish, combine the onion/bacon mixture, pork and beans, maple syrup, brown sugar, ketchup, and lemon juice. Blend well.
4. Bake the bean mixture uncovered, for 45 to 60 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes. Serve.