Tag Archives: barbecue

BBQ Bacon Baked Beans

 

The quintessential summer side dish, barbeque baked beans are a staple of picnics and backyard BBQs. They are delicious on their own, and perfectly complement burgers, hot dogs, and ribs. Along with coleslaw and fresh corn on the cob, my summer memories are packed with these little tangy red jewels.

For a while in my life, I hated baked beans, for exactly the reason stated above: I had too much of a good thing. And I also had some bad experiences, wherein the beans were pure mush and tasted awful. It wasn’t until I began cooking in earnest, and made my own sauce, that I decided to give them another shot. And boy am I glad I did!

Homemade sauce, bacon, and beans elevates this humble side dish to a truly gastronomic experience. Try it yourself and you will see.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans red beans, drained
  • (Or 1 cup dried, boiled for 2-3 hours)
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon
  • 1/2 – 2/3 cups BBQ Sauce
  • 1-2 tsp liquid smoke
  • Seasoning salt to taste

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Step 1: Open the beans and drain them. Rinse to remove excess sodium. Alternatively, use 1-2 cups dried, and boil them for 2-3 hours, until soft.

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Step 2: Cook your bacon over med-low heat, until beginning to brown. You don’t want it too crispy. Lay on a stack of paper towels to drain.

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Step 3: Place beans in a pot, and add BBQ sauce and flavorings. Cut or chop the bacon into bite-sized pieces. Simmer it all together for 20-30 minutes to let flavors meld.

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Then serve! Enjoy alongside whatever summer dishes you like, or in the dead of winter to remember these warm sunny days.

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The best part is that as long as you make the sauce yourself (can control the amount of salt, sugar, and fat added), and the beans too (how much sugar or salt or bacon is involved), this dish is healthier than you may think.

Typical store-bought baked beans come loaded with nitrates, stabilizers, preservatives, salt, sugar, and fat. This is to allow it to store on the shelf longer, and to taste addictively good.

Awesomely, you can create an even-better-tasting addictively good dish yourself with just a few minutes of active work, and a few minutes of unattended simmering. Whip this up for your next picnic or party and watch it disappear.

Perfect Sweet & Tangy Barbeque Sauce

 

Barbeque sauce, how America loves you, let me count the ways.

Put simply, barbecue sauce (or BBQ) is a flavoring used as a marinade, basting, or topping/dipping for meats and other grilled foods. While the ingredients vary as widely as the cooks creating it, most begin with a tomato and vinegar base. Other common additions include chilies, garlic, ginger, molasses or brown sugar, liquid smoke, coffee, and other spices.

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For a nice history lesson and some ancient sauce recipes, check out TIME and/or amazingribs.com. Every cook has their favorite ‘secret’ recipe, perhaps passed down from grandmothers or grandfathers, or containing an unusual ingredient they will never disclose, even on pain of death.

I’ve written before about BBQ sauces, and this recipe expands upon my simpler one. Most ingredients are staples I always have around the kitchen, while things like sriracha and liquid smoke you may have to make a special purchase. You can even choose to omit those ingredients you do not have, and likely it will still be delicious. Experiment with recipes until you find one you love, then it can become your “signature” BBQ sauce.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 2 tbsp mustard
  • 2 tbsp sriracha
  • 2 tbsp worchestershire sauce
  • Dash liquid smoke (1-2 tsp)
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup plain cola
  • 2-4 tbsp maple syrup, depending on how sweet you like it
  • Sprinkle paprika, salt & black pepper to taste

Step 1: Combine all ingredients in a giant bowl, and whisk away!

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This makes a substantial amount of sauce, so be prepared to throw a huge backyard bash with tons of sauce on meats, or store what you don’t use in the refrigerator for about 2 months. The more salt or acid you add, the longer it can last in the fridge.