Saturday, June 28, 2014

Baked Beans with Maple & Bacon

(in full disclosure, these are the beans BEFORE cooking, 
as my family fell upon the food when ready without waiting for artsy photographic moments)
I went to Kansas City recently and ate a whole lot of BBQ.
The beans were unexpectedly delicious, and I guess I hadn't thought a lot about that part in advance. I like beans and all, just thought other side dishes might be better.
But, when I got home and decided to recreate a dinner at home, I needed to think about baked beans.
We saw this recipe of the Traeger Smoker website, we thought we'd give it a try.  
I changed it up a bit, because most of you don't have smokers to do this kind of thing with.  
Also, I did my beans in two portions, on the smoker, and in the oven, and truly, I didn't think it made a lot of difference to the end product.  My advice?  It might just be easier to do this in the oven, and make LOTS of room on the smoker for RIBS or something instead.

Serves 6-8

1 pound dried navy beans, rinsed and picked over
2 quarts water
1 large onion, diced
1 bay leaf
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces (1/2 pound) bacon, coarsely diced (i like the chunky "ends & pieces")
3/4 cup pure maple syrup, preferably Grade B
1/4 cup ketchup
1/3 cup BBQ Sauce 
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp smoked paprika
1-1/2 teaspoons dried mustard (such as Colman’s)
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Put the beans and water in a 2-1/2 quart Dutch oven or a large saucepan. Soak for 8 hours, or overnight.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bay leaf, garlic, and bacon and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer the beans until tender, 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Drain the beans, reserving the cooking liquid. Discard the bay leaf. Stir in the maple syrup, ketchup, barbecue sauce, mustard, and salt and pepper. 

Return the beans to the Dutch oven, or transfer to a 2-1/2 quart bean pot.
Set oven to 300 degrees.
Cover the beans and bake for 5 to 6 hours, stirring occasionally or until very tender and flavorful, adding some of the reserved bean cooking liquid if the beans seem too dry. Uncover for the last 30 minutes of cooking.

What's been cooking on my blog...
One year ago?  Shrimp and Cream Cheese Omelette
Two years ago? Sweet Chili Sauce Salmon
Three years ago?  Lemon Lime Basil Shortbread Cookies

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