Labor Day's coming.
Whatcha gonna make?
I'm sure someone is expecting you to waltz in with some sort of side dish for the end of Summer BBQ. Here's an easy one to make ahead.
As you can see from my photo of the ingredients, I own an overly large bottle of Kahlua.
Now, I like Kahlua as much as the next person, but frankly, I needed to find something else to make with it besides cocktails.
This recipe from the Seattle Times site last year was the perfect one to try. Of course, I changed it up and frankly, simplified it a bit.
We served our beans with pulled pork sandwiches on pretzel slider rolls, spicy cole slaw and a fair amount of watermelon. Enjoy yourselves.
(Pyrex measuring cup shows coffee, but not pictured are the beans, onions and bacon...)
1 pound dried beans (navy or pinto), rinsed and picked over
1/2 pound sliced bacon, cut into pieces with scissors
OR, use 1/2 lb bacon "ends and pieces" for more chunks
2 cups finely chopped onions
1 cup ketchup, or chili sauce
1/2 cup tomato-based barbecue sauce, preferably smoked
1/2 cup Kahlua liqueur
1/2 cup strong brewed coffee
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup molasses
1-2 tsp Liquid Smoke
2 tablespoons Worcestershire
2 tablespoons hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
Salt, as needed
Soak the beans overnight in lots of water to cover. Drain.
In a large pot, cover beans generously with fresh cold water. Set the pot over medium heat and bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring once or twice, for 1 hour or more, until the beans are very soft but still holding their shape. (The beans should not be salted at the initial cooking stage, as salt will toughen the beans.) Drain, reserving 1 1/2 cups of the bean cooking liquid.
Cook the bacon in a large skillet until crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan and pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
Combine the beans with 1/2 cup cooking liquid (keep the other cup for later, if needed), bacon, onions, ketchup, barbecue sauce, Kahlua, coffee, mustard, molasses, steak sauce, hot pepper sauce. Transfer to a heavy 4 1/2-5-quart nonreactive casserole or Dutch oven with a tight fitting lid. Bake in a preheated 250-degree oven for about 4 hours, stirring every hour. If beans seem dry, add another 1/2 cup of the bean cooking liquid.
Remove the lid, stir the beans and continue baking, uncovered, 30 minutes. Stir and continue baking another 30 minutes, until beans are very thick. Stir occasionally.
(The beans can be cooled, covered and refrigerated; reheat the next day on a medium-low burner.)
Here's a photo after it cooked about 2 hours.
Here's my awesome new Lodge cast iron 5 qt. dutch oven! Only $40 on Amazon! The lid doubles as a fry pan, and it also fits my 10" cast iron fry pan. Very cool.
Here's what I've been making:
One year ago: Almond Poppyseed Bread
Two years ago: BLT Salad Sliders
Three years ago: Coconut Flan