These beans… You would think that making baked beans would be easy enough, especially if I have made baked beans before. But NO! I have now made these beans twice. Twice! The first time I made these beans was to take to family function. No, actually I first made these beans to be eaten with some ribs; but after 4 (yes 4) hours of cooking that day I gave up and didn’t eat them.
So let me tell you how this little bean trouble all began. Like I said I first started to make these beans for a simple BBQ dinner. I followed Emeril’s directions to a T. (even though I disagreed). The reason I disagreed was that in the recipe directions Emeril uses dried navy beans, he then says to just rinse the beans and mi the rinsed beans with the other ingredients. In my logical mind and from all the other times I have used beans I know you have to rense AND soak the beans before use. Now Emerial said to rinse but did not say to soak. SOOO, to make sure and follow the directions to a T, I d just rinsed the beans and did not soak.
Well then the recipe says to add about 8 cups of water and let cook for 3-4 hours. So I felt like with this much water and the long cooking time the beans will be good. No… after over 4 hours of cooking time they were still crunchy. I waited to finish cooking them for another day (because this was back when it was still 100 degrees outside). I then had the great idea to cook them in the crock pot. After about 4 hours of that they were still hard and burnt!
I then saw navy beans in the canned bean isle of the grocery store. I thought this was perfect! I could make these beans and not have to worry about the whole rinsing and soaking thing or having to cook them for so long. But this time I burnt the bacon… so the beans tasted amazing s long as you didn’t get a bite of burnt bacon… cuz then it was all over and all you could taste was a nasty burnt flavor.
Will I make these bad boys again, despite all my problems? I will say yes. Despite everything these beans tasted great and had unique ingredients (I absolutely love that- when a recipe has odd ingredients but still comes together). I just chalk this whole experience up to going with your gut instinct.
The recipe below is my revised version using canned beans. If you go the dried bean route, then for Pete’s sake please, please rinse AND soak you beans!
Emeril’s Slow Cooked Bam-B-Q Baked Beans
adapted from Emeril At The Grill: A Cookbook For All Seasons
4 slices bacon, diced
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 (15 oz) cans navy beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup brewed coffee
1/2 cup your favorite barbecue sauce
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons stone ground mustard
1 tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon red hot sauce
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons salt
In a heavy ovenproof cast iron Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until rendered and crispy, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened and lightly caramelized, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the beans, coffee, barbecue sauce, brown sugar, mustard, molasses, hot sauce, and pepper and stir to combine well. Add the water and salt and increase heat to bring liquid to a boil. Cover the pot and place the pot in the oven and cook for 20 minutes, undisturbed. Remove the pot from the oven, uncover and stir the beans and serve hot.