Disclaimer by Shaina: Yep, I saw them over here on PW, and I even told Ole that she blogged his recipe that he was working on. However, you’re still getting them, and heck, maybe it’ll help you with some of the measurement amounts. The following is a post by Ole, who made baked beans last week!
I’ve always taken beans for granted. Ten minutes before the grilling is done, you open a can of beans, pour it into a bowl, stick it in the microwave for three or four minutes, then slide it onto the table next to the important stuff – steak, potato salad, cornbread or whatever – and eat. End of story. Beans really aren’t important; they just offer a way to reduce meat volume and add a bit of sweetness to cut the salt found in many American dishes. Right? Not really. Beans can be so much more. They can be a dish that contributes to the meal, not just filler. All it takes is a little planning.
You’re going to want to start about 24 hours before you plan on eating. Soak one pound of navy beans overnight in water.
About five hours before you want to eat, drain the beans and place them in a pot on the stove and just enough water to cover them.
Cut the hard portion of fat from the pork belly and add it to the beans. Add a bit of baking soda and bring to a boil for ten minutes.
Drain the liquid to a bowl…
Add to that liquid molasses, mustard, brown sugar, and ketchup and mix thoroughly
Preheat the oven to 350° and line the bottom of a heavy stone crock with sliced onions and chopped pork belly.
Add a layer of beans and continue layering onions, pork belly, beans.
Repeat until you’re out of beans.
Pour the liquid mixture over the top and cover the crock with the lid or foil.
Park it in the oven for about four hours. Alternatively this could be done in a crock pot set to medium for six hours.
The finished product will be dark brown, sweet and salty, and the texture is far superior to any canned version. Sure it takes some time, but the results are completely worth it.
I call these “Beans 1.0” because, while this is a really solid place to start, the possibilities for tweaking are endless. Next time I might go spicy with cayenne pepper or diced jalapenos, or I could do a sweeter version with honey or maple syrup. There are tangy possibilities too, maybe a little vinegar, bourbon and black pepper.
For your next barbecue session, there’s nothing wrong with reaching for the can, but once you have the real thing it’s tough to go back.