Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Baked Beans

Ok, I know I said yesterday the pulled pork was the star of Saturday's Smokapalooza but these beans almost stole the show.
I've only ever eaten baked beans from a can but after making these I've realized how simple, & better, homemade ones are. Since I'd never made them before & was going to be serving them to a group of guinea pigs, I mean guests, I went to someone I trusted with beans for a recipe, Rancho Gordo. I figure they grow amazing beans so they must have the best recipes to use them. Of course, I had to tweak the recipe a little.

We decided to flavor the beans with the same dry rub we used on the pork. This meant we could leave the sugar, salt & some of the mustard out of the recipe. Let me just say, oh my gosh these beans were so good! Sweet but not too sweet, full of smoky bacon & so tender. Matt had a little bowl to taste them when they came out of the oven. That bowl turned into a second bowl which turned into "maybe we won't serve these because I want to eat them all myself."
My Homemade Baked Beans
Since these beans need to cook low & slow for a long time I made them the day before the party & kept them in the fridge overnight. A little before dinner we put the dutch oven right on the grill to heat the beans.

Baked Beans
(adapted from Heirloom Beans)

1 1/2 pound dry navy, yellow eye or european soldier beans or similar (we actually used a mix or navy, yellow eye & cranberry beans)
6 T dry pork rub
1 t dry mustard
2 T tomato paste
1/3 c + 1/4 c dark molasses
3 T maple syrup
3/4 pound good smoked bacon, chopped roughly
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
salt & pepper

Put the beans in enough water to cover them by an inch & let them soak for about 2 hours.

Pour the beans & soaking water into a large pot. Add more water to cover the beans but about an inch. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat & simmer uncovered until the beans just begin to soften, 45 - 60 minutes.

Drain the beans, retaining the cooking water. Add enough water to the cooking water to measure 3 cups. Whisk the rub, mustard, tomato paste, molasses & maple syrup into the water.

Preheat oven to 250 F.

Put 1/2 of the beans into a large dutch oven or similar pot. Top with half of the onions & all the bacon. Add remaining beans. Sprinkle the remaining onions over the top. Pour the sauce in. Cover & bake for 5 - 7 hours. Check from time to time to see if they need a little more water (mine never did). The beans should be VERY tender & the sauce should be thick & stick to the beans.

About 14 servings

I made 1/3 of this recipe this week for Matt & I & did it all in the crock pot. After the soaking I cooked the beans in the crock pot on high for about 1 1/2 hours. I drained the cooked beans saving the liquid. Then reassembled the beans with the seasonings, liquid, bacon & onions back into the crock pot. I let it cook on low for about 6 hours & they came out beautifully without heating up the kitchen at all.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at OR at then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.© 2007-2010 Kathy Lewinski


Lo said...

I love it when a dish turns out so well that you second guess wanting to feed it to your guests! That's a sure sign that it's a winner.

Gotta love those folks over at Rancho Gordo, though. They grow a great bean. Makes me think it's time to place another order...

Thistlemoon said...

I ADORE homemade baked beans and it has been far too long since I have made them! Thanks for the reminder! :)

Sippity Sup said...

Between these beans and your pulled pork you have me in a summer state of mind. GREG

vanillasugarblog said...

i love baked beans. i eat them almost every week. and would you believe that my hubby hates them? what man hates baked beans? seriously. yours came out perfect indeed.

Deborah said...

Those look absolutely perfect!

Lori said...

What a great idea with the dry rub! I love baked beans when they are done well and this recipe sounds amazing!

Anonymous said...

ooh ahhh, looks delicious!

Peter M said...

This looks like the real-deal...I'm not eating beans in a can anymore!

Lori said...

Oh you know I am all over this recipe. I am so going to make these. I bet they almost stole the show!

grace said...

a barbecue isn't complete without baked beans, and i love that you thought to season them with the pork rub. well done!

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T = Tablespoon
t = teaspoon
c = cup
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