This version of baked beans, from Montreal's Joe Beef restaurant, dials back the sugar so we can taste everything else. Using lentils, importantly, also means that these baked "beans" cook in a fraction of the time. Recipe from The Art of Living According to Joe Beef (Ten Speed Press, 2011) —Genius Recipes
slices bacon, finely diced
onion, finely chopped
red lentils, picked over and rinsed
maple syrup, plus more as needed
neutral oil, like grapeseed, vegetable, or canola
cider vinegar, plus more as needed
Colman's dry mustard
freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
Preheat the over to 350° F (180° C). In an ovenproof pot with a lid, fry the bacon over medium-high heat until crisp. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for about 4 minutes, or until softened. Then add the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer.
Add the lentils, water, ketchup, maple syrup, oil, vinegar, mustard, pepper, and bay leaf. Stir well and season with salt. Bring to a boil. Cover, place in the oven, and bake for 45 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.
Taste and correct the seasoning with salt, pepper, maple syrup, and vinegar. Serve hot now or later.
Genius recipes surprise us and make us rethink cooking tropes. They're handed down by luminaries of the food world and become their legacy. They get us talking and change the way we cook. And, once we've folded them into our repertoires, they make us feel pretty genius too. Watch for new Genius Recipes every Wednesday morning on our blog, dug up by Food52's Creative Director Kristen Miglore.