Sunday, January 22, 2012

Barbecue Baked Beans

No matter how you look at it, dried beans take a long time to cook. There's no sense in rushing them - let them cook slowly and you'll be rewarded with flavorful beans that are soft and creamy without being mushy.

I know that conventional wisdom says that you shouldn't salt the beans when you cook them, but I find that soaking them in salted water rather than plain water works really well. They end up flavorful, creamy but not mushy, and not a lot of burst beans.

Give it a try once, and see what you think.

I know that white beans like navy beans are the most common ones for baked beans, but I used pintos. They're just a little larger, and around here, they're much more common than navy beans.

The barbecue sauce I chose has a mustardy kick and quite a bit of spice that would be perfect on your pork ribs or your pork roast. In these beans, it adds a bit of heat and the mustard adds a different dimension that you won't find in your usual baked bean recipe. It also makes it a very easy recipe - just add ketchup and molasses for those familiar flavors, and you're done.

Barbecue Baked Beans

1 pound dried pinto beans
1 tablespoon salt, plus more as needed
1 large onion, diced
1/2 cup Cook'n'Shoup Bold n Tangy Barbecue Sauce
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup ketchup

Sort through the beans to remove any rocks or other bits of unwanted material. Rinse the beans until the water runs clear. Add the salt and enough water to so that it's at least 3 times the depth of the beans. Soak at least 6 hours or overnight.

After the soaking, rinse the beans and put them in a heavy-bottomed oven-safe pot. A Dutch oven is perfect. Add clean water to cover the beans by at least a few inches. Cook on low until the beans are cooked through, 1-2 hours, depending on the beans. Add water, as needed, to keep the beans covered with water during the cooking, and stir as needed to keep the beans from sticking or burning.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Drain out the excess liquid, leaving about a cup of liquid (you can drain it all out and add it back in, as needed, if you prefer.) Add the onion, barbecue sauce, molasses, and ketchup. Stir to combine. You should have enough liquid to come just below the level of the beans. If you need more, add some of the drained bean-cooking liquid or water.

Cover the pot and put it in the oven Cook until the onions are soft and the beans have absorbed most of the liquid - about 3-4 hours. Serve hot.

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