Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
Baked Bean Stew
by SuSu, MaceVindaloo

Canned baked beans are such a staple that even the poorest of kitchens can afford them, and people generally like them. Then can be eaten straight out of the can, not even heated or plated. That aspect has made it a military ration staple, even in the future. In the TV series "Firefly," the civil war between the Alliance and the Independents depicted soldiers eating canned beans as others died around them.

The crew of "Serenity" live on the edge, both geographically and financially. Often, the only food available was canned baked beans, which made the lowly dish both a life-saver and despised for its monotony.

When they had a bit of money to buy vegetables, it was often only enough to buy staples like onions and garlic. They could use dehydrated vegetables instead, of course. And if they had cheap meat, like bulk sausage, and some canned or bottled sauces, they could doctor up the beans to make the dish less common and more tasty than just plain ol' baked beans. They could even call it a soup or a stew, but at this recipe's core are the sturdy, lowly baked beans in a can.

  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 peppers, chopped
  • ½ heart celery, chopped
  • 1 head garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 1 lb / 450 g pork sausage (bulk, or remove from their skins)
  • 7½ lb / 110 oz / 3.3 kg canned baked beans (your favorite brand, we like Bush's original)
  • 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 12 oz / 500 g spicy barbecue sauce
  • 2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or molasses
  • 2 tablespoons liquid smoke (optional)
In a large pot, heat oil and add the onion, peppers, celery, and garlic. Sprinkle over with salt and pepper and sweat the vegetables, meaning cooking them to soften them without browning them. Add the sausage meat and break it up as it cooks till it's not pink anymore. (NOTE: You can add leftover cooked sausage or meatloaf here instead, if you have it.)

Drain the beans, but retain the juice. Add the beans to the pot and stir in; add enough juice from the can to just cover the beans. Add more if you prefer a soupier concoction.

Add the seasonings: the mustard, cider vinegar, barbecue sauce, hot pepper sauce, Creole seasoning, and syrup. Heat everything through and add more bean juice to adjust the texture, which should be rather creamy and not too solid. Stir in the liquid smoke if you're using it. Serve immediately, OR treat like a baked bean dish, and roast in a slow oven for a few hours.

Serves 10 as a meal or 25+ as a side dish.

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