Bourbon Bacon Baked Beans
with chipotle … Adapted from How Sweet it is
Although I have a life-long love of beans, I have a small confession for you: when I was a kid I used to make baked bean sandwiches. They were great treats, with beans spread out on slices of store-bought white bread. Today that thought makes me cringe, but still I treasure the memory. I have fallen away from eating baked beans. Things “canned’ just don’t seem very appealing anymore. And I have to confess to something big and horrific: In my many, many years of life … I have never once tried making baked beans from scratch … until now, until this. I just HAD to make this.
It is funny what prompts you to do such a thing as making real baked beans (with bourbon!), from scratch. The “stimulus” for this effort was making my BBQ Pork Cobb Salad for our monthly event at my friend Seth’s Shop, The Little Cellar Wine Company. We host these food and wine tasting events monthly and I wanted my beans for the salad this month to be amazing, so I decided it was time to try making something way better than what you get from a can.
I won’t lie to you, dear friends, it does take time to make real baked beans. But it is TOTALLY worth it! Thankfully, you don’t have to soak the beans overnight and it doesn’t take but a few minutes of effort, but you do need to choose a day when you’ll be around the house to make this deliciousness. You will, occasionally, need to tend to the beans. While you’re stirring, take a deep breath, whiff in the lovely scent of the spices with the onion and garlic and beans and just let the rest of the craziness of your life melt away. Stirring the beans whilst you do this is even more mesmerizing and therapeutic.
If you love baked beans, say goodbye to those shelves of canned baked beans. You don’t need them anymore. You have a new love.
- 1 lb. navy beans, dry
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 - 6 cloves garlic, peeled & chopped
- 4 slices center cut, nitrate free bacon
- 1 large sweet onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup bourbon
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup barbecue sauce
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons dry mustard
- 2 Tablespoons molasses
- 1 Tablespoon prepared mustard
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt (more or less to taste)
- 1/2 - 1 teaspoon chipotle powder (more or less to taste)
- Put the beans in a saucepan with the bay leaf and garlic and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and let cook for 1 1/2 - 2 hours or until the beans are tender, adding more water as needed if the beans get dry.
- Meanwhile, fry the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon, pour off some of the fat, then add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, over medium heat about 8 - 10 minutes or until the onions start to brown and caramelize.
- When the beans are done, put them in a strainer to drain off any excess water.
- Put the onions, beans, and the remaining ingredients in a large covered casserole dish. Preheat the oven to 300 F., cover and bake for 2 hours. Taste and add salt and/or chipotle powder and/or water as desired or needed. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge and reheat when it's time to eat.
RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/
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