I make baked beans once a year and it is usually for the first BBQ of the season. The one thing that defines our family BBQ’s is a big pot of sweet and savory Hawaiian inspired baked beans with Portuguese sausage, better known as Linguica outside of Hawaii. Not all linguica are equal, so taste a few and pick your favorite. In Oregon I buy Silva which is made by the Silva Sausage Company in Gilroy, CA. And in my opinion, it tastes as good as any Hawaiian Portuguese sausage. That’s just one expatriates opinion…
Baked beans are so easy to put together but what makes them stand out is the addition of Portuguese sausage. No other sausage taste quite like it. It has a unique flavor that is both sweet and tangy with a firm texture that can be added to a variety of dishes. We always eat these beans over rice. Once you’ve had them over rice you will never eat them without.
Portuguese sausage is so popular in Hawaii that it can be found fried up on the breakfast menu at McDonalds served along side eggs and rice.
I use caned baked beans and my favorite brand is B & M Original, their beans have a firmer texture. But if you can’t find them, Bush Original will work well. Also, back in the day when I originally wrote this recipe, Portuguese sausage was sold in a one pound pack, but today it is more like 12 – 14 oz. pack. Even though the recipe calls for one pound the smaller pack is plenty. All the ingredients are precooked before putting them together, but don’t skip the long slow cooking which is an important step in melding the flavors together.
I know that these are called baked beans and you are welcome to bake them in a 250 degree oven for 1 ½ to 2 hours, which is what I used to do before I got a slow cooker. But if you have a crock pot, why heat up your kitchen. This recipe makes quite a bit and can easily be cut in half.
HAWAIIAN STYLE BAKED BEANS
1 pound Portuguese sausage, cut into small cubes
1 pound bacon, sliced into thin strips
1 large onion, chopped small
4 28 oz. cans B&M Original baked beans
2 Tblsp. brown sugar, packed
2 tsp. dry mustard
4 Tblsp. molasses
1 cup ketchup
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
Place the beans in a large crock pot.
Add sugar, mustard, molasses, ketchup and cinnamon.
Cut bacon into ½ inch strips and fry till crispy; drain on paper towels and add to the beans.
Save 1 – 2 Tbsp. bacon fat (or use cooking oil) to sauté the onions; cook onions until soft and add to the beans.
Sauté the Portuguese sausage in the same pan to a light brown; drain on paper towels and add to the beans; stir to mix.
Cover and cook on LOW for 4 – 5 hours or HIGH for 2 – 3 hours or in a 250 degree oven for 1 ½ - 2 hours.
Serve over rice.