Knocks and Beans Supreme
Red chili peppers plus garlic, scallions and shallots add spice to knocks and beans in this make-ahead casserole.
- 6 knockwurst sausages, sliced into thirds (about 2-inch pieces)
- 8 slices lean, good-quality smoky bacon, such as Oscar’s Smokehouse brand
- Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), for drizzling
- 2 cans good-quality baked beans (16-18-ounces each), such as Bush’s Grilling Baked Beans
- 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 large shallot, finely chopped
- Coarse black pepper
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce or steak sauce, such as Lea and Perrin’s Thick Worcestershire Sauce
- 2 red chili peppers
- 1 small bunch thin scallions, whites and greens thinly sliced on an angle
- A couple of small sprigs of fresh thyme and/or fresh marjoram, leaves stripped and finely chopped
- 1 loaf brown bread or brown bread with raisins
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
Simmer the sausages in shallow boiling water to heat through; drain the sausages and wipe out the pan and return it to the stove.
While the sausages simmer, slice the bacon into half-inch wide batons. Add a drizzle of EVOO to the pan and heat over medium-high heat. Thick cut the sausages on an angle and add them to the skillet and sear at the edges; remove the sausages and add the bacon and render until almost crisp, but not quite. Remove the bacon from the skillet to a paper towel-lined plate to cool, but reserve the drippings.
In a casserole dish, stir together the beans, garlic and shallot and season with lots of coarse black pepper. Smooth out the beans in the dish and wipe down the sides of the dish. Nestle the chunks of knocks into the beans, arranging them all around the casserole and allowing them to peek up and out a bit. Dot the beans with thick Worcestershire sauce. Scatter the chilies and scallions and herbs over top of the casserole.
Scatter the bacon over top and, using a pastry brush, dot with some of the drippings. Cover and store for a make-ahead meal.
Pre-heat the oven to 375°F.
Bake the casserole in a hot oven on a baking sheet liner until the top surface is crispy in spots and bubbly all over.
Slice the brown bread into 1-inch-thick slices. On a heated griddle, melt 2 tablespoons butter and toast the brown bread until slightly browned and crispy. Flip the bread and repeat.