For my first time making BBQ Baked Beans, I needed a really special recipe to adapt. I scoured the internet until I found one that seemed complex (complex recipes=awesome food, right?) and used dry beans. I’m not a fan of canned anything if I can help it but canned beans have to be the worst. (Some BBQ baked bean recipes swear by canned beans!) The winning recipe in my search comes from a man out of Barney, Georgia who’s been BBQing for more than 40 years – Georgians gotta know their BBQ baked beans, right?
- 1 lb dry beans (I used pinto, the recipe called for Navy)
- 1 lb Hickory smoked sausage, sliced and cut into fourths (I used turkey)
- 1 lb cooked bacon (half crumbled, half in slices)
- 1 c. chopped onions
- 1 c. chopped bell pepper (I used orange)
- 1/2 c. molasses
- 1 c. pineapple juice
- 1 c. packed dark brown sugar
- 1 tsp. yellow mustard
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 T. Black pepper
- 1 oz chili powder (I used a mix of New Mexico and chipotle)
- 2 c. diced tomatoes
- 1 c. ketchup
- 1 c. BBQ sauce (I used Memphis style – Trader Joe’s brand)
- Rinse beans and pick out any bad beans.
- In a large pot, combine beans with 8 cups of water. Bring to a good boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat; cover and let stand for 1 hour. Drain and rinse beans. Return beans to the pot. Stir in 8 cups of fresh water. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 2 hours or until beans are tender, stirring occasionally.
- Drain beans and reserve liquid.
- In a casserole dish, combine the beans, sausage, bacon crumbles, onions and bell pepper. Mix thoroughly and then stir in 1 cup of reserved liquid and remaining ingredients. Stir until all ingredients are combined together. Cover top with bacon slices. Bake uncovered in a 300 degree oven for approximately 3 hours. If needed, add additional reserve liquid.
My coworker Garrett and I overlooked a small detail when assembling this dish. I forgot to tell him to reserve some of the liquid when doing the final bean drain. Instead of using a cup of the bean water, we added a cup of beer.
We added extra sausage, extra bacon and omitted the spices/seasonings I didn’t have in the house. When it came to adding chili powder, I ran out of the New Mexico flavor I normally use and resorted to the Chipotle Pepper Powder I found in the cupboard. I dumped a boatload of it (I was eyeballing one ounce) in the dish.
This may have proved to be a bad idea. These beans were some of the spiciest beans and/or food I’ve eaten in my entire life. Spicy with a slow burn. I’m pretty sure the spiciness damaged my taste buds because the food I could barely taste the food I ate immediately after. Oh well. Overall, the recipe was perfect. Next time I’d tone down the chili powder!