Grabbing the Gusto

Deirdre Reid – Freelance Writer & Home Cook

I might have a thing for baked beans, maybe because I grew up in Massachusetts where I swear we had franks, beans and brown bread every Saturday night. This recipe from Bon Appetit has been a winner twice in the last month or so, both times for family cook-outs. It has a bit of smoky heat from the chipotles (don’t they make everything better?), sweetness, bacon and beer — everything good beans need! I made it once in the oven and once in the crockpot. It’s a keeper.

If you don’t use all the chipotle and sauce in the can, save it, either for a little time in the refrigerator or in the freezer. Once you know you have it ready to go, you’ll be surprised at all the dishes you can add it to for some smoky background heat. Last night we had some in brown rice with a little onion, very tasty.

Hot and Smoky Baked Beans

  • 6 bacon slices
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped onion
  • garlic, minced — my addition to recipe
  • 1-1/4 cups barbecue sauce – I used Bull’s Eye
  • 3/4 cup dark beer – I used oatmeal stout
  • 1/4 cup light molasses
  • 3 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 Tbsp packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 4-6 tsp minced canned chipotle chiles (the amount will depend on your audience)
  • 6 cans (15 oz) Great Northern beans, drained

Preheat oven to 350. Cook bacon in skillet over medium heat until crisp. Transfer to paper towels and drain. Transfer 2-1/2 Tbsp of the bacon fat to a large bowl. Chop bacon and add to bowl. Add onion to skillet and saute until just softening. Add garlic, sauteing until just turning golden — the original recipe didn’t call for sauteing onion but I like it that way. Add to bowl. Add barbecue sauce, beer, molasses, mustard, sugar, Worcestershire and soy sauce to bowl. Whisk to blend. Whisk in chipotles. Stir in beans. Transfer beans to 13×9 Pyrex baking dish and bake uncovered until liquid bubbles and thickens slightly, about 1 hour. Cool 10 minutes. Or cook in crockpot on setting desired until the beans look ready.

Original recipe – Hot and Smoky Baked Beans

One thought on “Hot and Smoky Baked Beans

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