The Once and Future Beans

I first sampled these baked beans at a family barbeque a couple Fourth of July’s ago. My brother-in-law took a hit for the team and stayed up late preparing them.

I’ve served them at barbeques ever since and have often been asked for the recipe, which originated from Alton Brown.

Notes: The recipe suggests cooking the dish in a Dutch oven, but since I don’t have one of those yet, I use my slow cooker, and it works great. I cook the bacon, onion, jalapenos, tomato paste, brown sugar, & molasses in a skillet and then transfer them along with the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker. On really hot summer days, I’ve even plugged in the slow cooker outside and let them cook there–which makes one less item to heat up the kitchen and to take up valuable counter space.

The Once and Future Beans

from Alton Brown’s Good Eats

1 pound dried Great Northern beans
1 pound bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 jalapenos, chopped
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
Vegetable broth
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons kosher salt

Heat oven to 250 degrees F.

Soak beans in a plastic container overnight in just enough cold water to submerge them completely.

Place a cast iron Dutch oven over medium heat and stir in the bacon, onion, and jalapenos until enough fat has rendered from the bacon to soften the onions, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, dark brown sugar, and molasses.

Drain the beans and reserve the soaking liquid. Add the drained beans to the Dutch oven. Place the soaking liquid in a measuring cup and add enough vegetable broth to equal 4 cups of liquid. Add the liquid to the Dutch oven and bring to a boil over high heat. Add in cayenne, black pepper and salt. Give them a stir and cover with the lid. Place the Dutch oven in the oven for 6 to 8 hours, or until the beans are tender.

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One Response

  1. I have to second this recipe recommendation. It’s one of our favorites.

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