05 July 2014

Weekend Cooking: BBQ Bacon Bourbon Baked Beans

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This has been a holiday week for many of us in North America (Canada Day, July 4), so in keeping with the festive mood, I thought I'd share a recipe I adapted for yesterday's dinner. We had typical American cookout fare: deviled eggs, potato salad, hamburgers, hot dogs (actually, we grilled andouille), baked beans, and lots of snacks. We served beer, wine, soda, and iced tea. And dessert was lemon cake with strawberries and blueberries (more or less red, white, and blue).

The BBQ bacon bourbon baked beans were particularly good and the only dish that was new for the holiday this year. I started with a recipe I found on the Penzeys Spices site and adapted it our tastes. Everyone agreed that it was a hit.

BBQ Bacon Bourbon Baked Beans
(adapted from Penzeys)
  • 1/2 pound uncured pepper bacon (or whatever you have)
  • 1 medium Vidalia onion, chopped fine
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped fine
  • 1/2 large green bell pepper, seeded and chopped fine (yellow or red would have been prettier)
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce mixed with 2 tablespoons Penzeys 3001 BBQ spice mix (or 1/2 cup prepared BBQ sauce)
  • 2 teaspoons mustard powder
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1/4 teaspon smoked paprika
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans, rinesd and drained
  • 1 good pour of bourbon
Preheat oven to 250F.

In a large skillet, cook the bacon, in batches, until crisp. Drain on paper towels and set aside. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease.

Cook the onion and peppers in the bacon grease until soft, maybe 5 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan to get any stuck-on bits. Add the brown sugar, tomato sauce-BBQ mixture, mustard powder, molasses, and paprika and cook, stirring, until well mixed. Add the beans and cook until just heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the bourbon. Break the bacon up into chunks and stir through. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper (amounts depend on the saltiness of your bacon and beans).

Transfer the mixture to a small casserole (maybe 3 quarts), cover, and let bake for 3 hours.

NOTE: Penzeys suggests baking at 350F for an hour. I like the longer, slower cooking time so the flavors can develop. I bet this would work in a slow cooker, or even simply simmered on the stove (although you may need to add more liquid).


Tina 7/5/14, 6:46 AM  

I'm with ya on the bacon theme this time! Sounds like you had a nice 4th celebration with some wonderful foods.
Beans with bacon AND bourbon? Step aside!

rhapsodyinbooks 7/5/14, 7:57 AM  

I love using lemon cake for the red blue and well, sort of yellow colors of July 4th! (worth a little stretching to have the lemon cake!) :--)

Jackie McGuinness 7/5/14, 8:27 AM  

My husband was just complaining I never make baked beans. I am going to surprise him with this recipe!

Beth S. 7/5/14, 8:46 AM  

These sound yummy. I loved the combo of using three different types of beans.

bermudaonion 7/5/14, 8:52 AM  

Those baked beans sound delicious an easy too since you start with canned beans. Your holiday dinner sounds like a lot of fun!

Heather 7/5/14, 9:24 AM  

Great bean crock, it looks a lot like mine. I don't make beans often but they are a hit when I do. The bourbon sounds like a tasty addition. Thanks.

Sheila (Bookjourney) 7/5/14, 10:29 AM  

Sounds delicious - I love baked beans. I used to have a wonderful homemade recipe that I lost and I wish I could find it - it was my favorite way to prepare them.

Unknown 7/5/14, 12:47 PM  

I love baked beans. I really want to get a traditional baked bean pot and try making them in that. I went to a cookout several years ago and tried beans cooked that way. So good!

Daryl 7/5/14, 2:51 PM  

yum.... just finished Erica Bauermeister's Lost Art of Mixing which was a very lovely sweet follow up to The School of Essential Ingredients .. a gentle way to spend an afternoon ...

Anonymous,  7/5/14, 5:59 PM  

Having lived most of my life in former British colony of Singapore, baked beans to me means the Heinz kind. More tomato-saucey than the American sort. Good on toast and with breakfast. But bacon and bourbon baked beans sounds amazing!!

Carole 7/5/14, 7:32 PM  

Thanks for hosting. I always enjoy your contributors! Cheers from Carole's Chatter

Cecelia 7/5/14, 7:40 PM  

I've never made baked beans - this seems to be another hole in my cooking education! I've always used canned... your recipe makes me want to try better things (aka bacon and bourbon). YUM! Also, Happy 4th!

Couscous & Consciousness 7/6/14, 5:27 AM  

I've often thought about having a go at making homemade baked beans. This looks like a great recipe to try. Hope you have a happy holiday weekend.

Melynda@Scratch Made Food! 7/6/14, 8:06 AM  

Hello, those beans sound great, especially the maple part! Thanks for hosting, this is such a friendly link up.

(Diane) bookchickdi 7/6/14, 9:29 AM  

My sister-in-law made some delicious baked beans this 4th of July too. It's such an All-American recipe, isn't it?

Linda 7/6/14, 11:20 AM  

Someone made a similar dish for the potluck we were at on Friday. Delicious!

Linda 7/6/14, 11:20 AM  

Someone made a similar dish for the potluck we were at on Friday. Delicious!

Linda 7/6/14, 11:21 AM  

Someone made a similar dish for the potluck we were at on Friday. Delicious!

Linda 7/6/14, 11:21 AM  

Someone made a similar dish for the potluck we were at on Friday. Delicious!

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz 7/6/14, 11:46 AM  

Nothing like beans on the Fourth of July! Thanks for sharing this recipe with us.

Unknown 7/6/14, 4:33 PM  

I absolutely love BBQ beans and these sound fabulous!

Vasilly 7/7/14, 11:54 AM  

I wish I saw this recipe before we made beans yesterday!

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