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A Basic Barbecue Side Dish – America’s Test Kitchen Boston Baked Beans

There are a lot of great side dishes you can make when you are cooking for outdoor meals, barbecues, pool parties, summer graduations, buffet meals, picnics and general outdoor get-togethers. There are always options for potato salad, coleslaw, fruit salads, green salads and more, but one of my personal favorites is baked beans. Baked beans can pretty much go with any type of meal, and seem to go really well with all kinds of barbecue, whether it is ribs, chicken, burgers and hot dogs or just about anything else. I have tried a variety of baked bean recipes and posted a few of them right here on this blog, but one that I always seem to go back to is this one from America’s Test Kitchen for Boston baked beans. It’s simple and delicious and gives you that deep flavor you want.

Boston Baked Beans

4 ounces salt pork, trimmed of the rind and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 ounces bacon (2 slices), cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1/2 cup molasses
1 tablespoon molasses
1 1/2 tablespoons brown mustard
1 pound dried small white beans (about 2 cups), rinsed and picked over
Table salt
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Ground black pepper

Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position; heat the oven to 300 degrees. Add the salt pork and the bacon to an 8-quart Dutch oven; cook the pork and the bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until they are lightly browned and most of the fat is rendered, about 7 minutes. Add the onion and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, about 8 minutes. Add the 1/2 cup of molasses, the brown mustard, the beans, 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt, and 9 cups of water; increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover the pot and set the pot in the oven. Bake until the beans are tender, about 4 hours, stirring once after about 2 hours of cooking time. Remove the lid from the pot and continue to bake the beans until the liquid has thickened to a syrupy consistency, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours longer. Remove the beans from oven; stir in the remaining tablespoon of molasses, the apple cider vinegar, and the additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

You really want to use dried beans for this recipe. Canned beans cooking this long will just get very mushy on you and lose all of their texture and consistency (besides, dried beans are pretty cheap, usually about 75 cents for a 1-pound bag). This recipe makes a lot of beans, as most beans recipes seem to do, so it is great if you are cooking them for a crowd at a barbecue. if you want to just make them for a smaller, home crowd or family, you can do what I did this time and cut the recipe in half. you’ll get a good portion of beans for your meal and still have leftovers to use for other days. You get great flavor from the bacon and salt pork with just a hint of the brown mustard and the molasses and vinegar both really help to build the overall flavor of the dish. This one is a family favorite for us and we make it a lot, especially in the summer or to bring over to a party.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. I hope you enjoy your Memorial Day weekend and remember to take the time to thank a veteran today and remember those who have given so much to help the world through their sacrifice and commitment. Enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on May 26, 2014 in Beans, Cooking, Grilling, Rice, Side Dishes

 

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Simple Southern Sides, Part 2 – Jamie Deen’s Homemade Baked Beans

Continuing along with some of the southern side dish recipes I have tried recently, I wanted to try something new with some baked beans so I was on the lookout for another recipe. I have tried good ones in the past but I did not want one that I had to put in the slow cooker and I wanted one that I could put in the oven with the other items I was cooking so I could have the stove top free for other things. I came across this recipe on Food Network from Jamie Deen, one of Paula Deen’s sons. I always like his recipes as he tries to keep things simple and a bit healthier when he can, so when I saw this recipe out there I knew I was going to give it a try.

Homemade Baked Beans

1 pound dried pinto beans
8 slices bacon, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 large Vidalia onion, chopped
Pinch salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons chili powder
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Sort through the beans and pick out any dried-up beans or small pebbles and discard them. Rinse the beans well in a colander, then add them to a large Dutch oven and cover the beans with 3 inches of water. Bring the beans to a boil for 2 minutes. Cover and let the beans sit on the stove for 1 hour. Drain the beans and rinse them again. Alternatively, you could soak the beans in water overnight to achieve the same results.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Add the bacon to the same Dutch oven and cook it over medium heat, while stirring, until the bacon has rendered some of its fat, about 3 minutes. Turn the heat up to medium-high, add the garlic and onions and saute until the bacon is almost crisp and the garlic and onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Season the bacon with a good pinch of salt and pepper and then stir in the chili powder, sautéing for 1 minute to toast the spice and until it is fragrant. Stir in 4 cups of water, the chicken stock, ketchup, molasses, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, yellow mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Stir in the pinto beans, bring the mixture to a simmer, cover the Dutch oven with a lid and place it in the oven for 5 hours. Check the beans every few hours to give them a stir. Add some water to the pot, only if needed, if the beans are looking dry and to prevent them from burning. The beans are ready when they are tender and the sauce is thick.

I thought this recipe was great because it makes use of the dried beans instead of canned, which I find have a lot more flavor to them. There are not many ingredients in this one and once it is under way I was pretty much able to leave it alone and let it cook since I was making these with the spare ribs I made last week, so both were in the oven and are on their own all day while I could do other things and then have dinner ready all at once. The beans had a nice flavor from the mixture of the chili powder, ketchup, molasses and sugar and we all loved them. This recipe does make a lot of beans (the website says it makes 10 servings) so you will have lots leftover to use for other meals or you could freeze some to have on hand for another time.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe as there is always plenty of cooking going on around here and I am always finding new recipes to try. until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on March 13, 2014 in Cooking, Rice, Side Dishes

 

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It’s Never Too Cold For Barbecued Baked Beans

I have actually made this recipe a few times over the last several weeks because we like it so much. Even though it may seem like a good summer side dish, I think good baked beans can go well with any type of beef or pork dish at all. I actually made these as part of my birthday dinner when we made pulled pork and I made them again just this past weekend for a family party we were going to. The recipe is from Cook’s Illustrated and you do not need a ton of ingredients. All you really need is a lot of time in the oven or you can make them ahead of time if you know you have any occasions and refrigerate and reheat them.

Barbecued Baked Beans

4 slices bacon, chopped fine

1 onion, minced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound dried small white beans (2 cups), rinsed and picked over

8 cups water

1 cup black coffee

1/2 cup barbecue sauce, plus extra for seasoning

1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

4 1/2 teaspoons brown mustard

1 tablespoon molasses

Tabasco sauce or hot sauce, for seasoning

Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 300 degrees. Cook the bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until it is beginning to crisp, about 5 minutes. Stir in the onion and cook until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the garlic and cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 15 seconds. Stir in the beans, the water, the coffee, the barbecue sauce, the dark brown sugar, the mustard, the molasses, 1/2 teaspoon of Tabasco or hot sauce, and 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt. Bring the entire mixture to a boil,scraping up any browned bits. Cover the pot and transfer it to the oven. Bake, stirring every hour, until the beans are tender, about 4 hours.

Remove the lid from the Dutch oven and continue to bake, uncovered, until the liquid has thickened to a syrupy consistency, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Season the beans with additional barbecue sauce, Tabasco or hot sauce, and salt and pepper to taste before serving.

This makes a lot of beans, with the serving recommendations of 6 to 8 people, but I think it can easily feed more than that, so if you know you are having a crowd than this is a great side dish you can plan on using. I think it goes great with pulled pork, ribs, hamburgers and hot dogs, steak or even just is a great side for sandwiches. I used Navy beans for the recipe, but any white bean here will do and make sure you use dried beans for this and not canned. The canned beans will just turn to mush because of the long cooking. You do not need to pre-soak the beans either for this recipe since they are cooking for such a long time and will get tender on their own.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for some more recipes to try. With the new year creeping up on us, I will have lots of new things to try out and share along the way. Thanks for following along and reading. Enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on December 30, 2013 in Cooking, Rice, Side Dishes

 

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Jennifer Probst

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Laissez Faire

Letting Life Lead

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