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Hart Stillwell's Baked Beans

Hart Stillwell, a frontier novelist, made a rough version of these beans over campfires while on fishing and hunting trips. If you like beans less sweet, reduce the amount of brown sugar.


  • 2 pounds cooked navy beans or other white beans
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato juice
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar (or less)
  • 3/4 cup strong black coffee
  • 1/2 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 4 slices slab bacon, chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely grated
  • 2 tablespoons unsulphured dark molasses
  • 2 tablespoons dry mustard


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Pour the mixture into a baking dish.
  3. Bake the beans, uncovered, about 1 1/2 hours, or until they have thickened and cooked down, with a "skin" just beginning to form on the top of the beans.

These beans reheat well and keep refrigerated for several days.