Saturday, October 24, 2009

Home-style Barbecue Beans

Ahhhh, fall is in the air. Somewhere up north, the green leaves are giving way to beautiful orange and burnt hues and the air at night is beginning to get crisp and chilly. You can almost smell the smoke meandering up from the chimneys. Old Man Winter is soon on the way, and with him, comes our desire for warm comfort foods. Stews, soups, casseroles and beans. Yes, I said beans. Today I'm going to share a fairly new recipe i have been working on for home made barbecue baked beans.

I love the recipe fine just as it is now, but I sometimes think it is missing just one magical ingredient that would put it beside Bush's beans in the grocery store. That being said, I'd like to point out my site content copyright information at the bottom of the page and to the right. Please feel free to pass the recipe along to friends and family, however under no conditions is the recipe to be published or used for any commercial purposes without my expressed written permission.

Enough legalese, on to the beans! OK, this recipe serves about 12-18. When I cook, I love to share with others and have leftovers. You can easily half this recipe if you are using a small dutch pot. The ideal way to make the beans is to use a cast iron dutch oven pot and cook outdoors over a campfire or a grill. Just keep in mind that the beans need about 5-6 hours to cook and that will burn up some charcoal or wood. Today I am making them in a crock pot inside. Tomorrow a pan of these beans will go into the smoker under the pork spare ribs to catch their juices for the last two hours. This will give them a baked look and taste. Of course the beans are awesome without smoking them too.

Here are a list of ingredients you will need to make these Home-style BBQ Beans...

2 16 oz bags of dry navy beans
8 oz of thick cut bacon chopped
1 lg finely diced yellow onion
1/2 cup of 100% pure maple syrup
1/2 cup of honey
1 cup molasses
3 1/2 cups of ketchup
2 tsp liquid smoke
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
4-6 cloves of garlic crushed
2 tsp dry mustard
2 tsp Cayenne pepper
2 tbsp kosher or sea salt
2 tbsp pimentos
cracked black pepper to taste

The first thing you want to do is soak the beans overnight. Pour the beans into a large bowl or pot and go through them to make sure undesirables are removed, such as tiny rocks or discolored beans. Do not skip this step, as dry beans are an agricultural product and will contain like sized rocks and dirt almost every time. Once beans have been screened, add enough water to cover by 3-4 inches and let set overnight.

An alternative to soaking beans is the quick soak method. As we did in the first step, sort through the beans and then add water to cover the beans by about 3-4". Cover the beans and bring to a boil. Allow to boil for about 2 minutes and then remove from heat and leave covered for about one hour. Drain the beans in a colander and they are ready for use as above.

Next, we are going to fry the bacon in our cooking pot. If your using a cast iron dutch pot, your in luck. I believe the bacon and onions fried in the cast iron add some additional magical flavor. It's just not the same to use a Teflon coated pot. Fry the bacon up until it is firm, but not crispy and remove it from the pot. Add your onions and cook those until soft, about 5 minutes.

Leave the onions in the pot and add the beans. Level the beans and add water to cover about 1". Add remaining ingredients and cook over an indirect fire or grill for about 6 hours, stirring when you can. I like to bring the mix to a soft boil and then move the pot to indirect heat to speed along the process. In a crock pot, cook on high heat for about 4-6 hours, stirring about once an hour.

There you have it. Not a lot of work, but there are several ingredients to add to this recipe. We basically made our own BBQ sauce and added it to the beans. During the last hour of cooking, I'll taste to see if it is spicy enough. If not, I'll add a little more cayenne pepper to offset the sweetness of the syrups that we used.


There are a couple of alternatives that you can try, to spice these up some more. If you like meat in your baked beans, add 1lb of cooked ground maple sausage. Another alternative is BBQ pork meat. I had 3 left over spare ribs in the fridge, so I placed them in a pot and covered with water and boiled for 10 minutes and let it cool down. The meat was falling of the bones, so I pulled it with forks and added it to the beans. Reserve the water and use to top off beans if they get too dry before finishing.

I hope you enjoyed reading this recipe. I am looking for feedback. If you try this, please let me know how you liked it, and what you would do differently if anything. I'll add a pic of a steaming bowl of beans when they are done.

Enjoy your weekend and until next time... Keep on smokin!

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