Monday, December 5, 2011

Bourbon Baked Beans

Bourbon Baked Beans 
from Cooking Light: Comfort Food 

I had thought about not posting this recipe due to the...ahem...less than appetizing appeal of the photo. My fault in a couple of ways. I took the picture late at night when the lighting was bad and I slightly overcooked the beans thanks to my decision that cooking them on top of the stove was just as good as baking them in the oven AS THE RECIPE CALLED FOR (when will I ever learn) .  But having devoured a plateful I decided that photo or no photo, the recipe was too good not to be shared

Given the fact that this was the first time I cooked with navy beans and the 8 hour soaking process, I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out. There's a delightful tangy sweetness to them thanks to the maple syrup and mustard with an underlying smokiness that in due entirely to me doubling the quantify of bacon called for (can there ever be too much bacon?). I would definitely make these again, maybe, just maybe, with following the directions this time.

Bourbon Baked Beans 
from Cooking Light: Comfort Food 

1 pound dried navy beans (approximately 2 1/2 cups)
3 slices applewood smoked bacon (I doubled to 6 slices)
1 cup finely chopped onion
5 cups water divided (4 cups + 1 cup)
1/2 cup maple syrup divided
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp bourbon divided
1/4 cup dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
Chicken sausage(I just can't have baked beans without sausage)

Sort and wash beans; place in large dutch over. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans; cover and let stand 8 hours or overnight. Drain beans. Wipe pan dry with paper towl.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat pan over medium high heat. Add bacon to pan and cook 4 minutes or until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 1/2 tbsp drippings in pan; crumble bacon. Add onion to pan and cook 5 minutes or until onions begin to brown, stirring frequently. Add beans, bacon, 4 cups water, 1/4 cup maple syrup, 1/4 cup bourbon and mustard, worcestershire sauce and black pepper to pan. bring to boil, cover and bake at 350 degrees for 2 hours.

Stir in remaining 1 cup water, 1/4 cup maple syrup and 2 tbsp of bourbon. Cover and bake for 1 hour or until beans are tender and liquid is almost absorbed. Stir in vinegar and salt. Yield: 6 1/2 cups.

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