Yeah, I know. I’m not really “with” the seasons right now. Then again, being “with it” isn’t exactly something of which I have ever been accused.
I definitely intended to get my act together and make these baked beans this summer. You know, when it was actually warm and the season for cookouts and whatnot. But somehow I blinked, and summer was suddenly gone.
Thankfully, we aren’t picky about when we eat our baked beans in this house. So as the cooler weather started rolling in, I pulled out the slow cooker and filled it with some dried pinto beans which had been soaking overnight, some spices, plenty of molasses, brown sugar, and maple syrup, and a whole cup of bourbon.
Yes, you read that right. There’s a cup of bourbon in them beans. It feels so wrong but it’s so, so right.
While this is an easy recipe, I won’t pretend like this is quick. It requires you to soak your beans (I highly recommend these from Bob’s Red Mill) for at least 8 hours, and the actual cook time on these suckers is a solid 12 hours – in fact, I would suggest letting these guys cook overnight, and reheating them when you are ready to eat. But trust me when I tell you that homemade beans are so, so worth it. These beans are sweet and rich and full of flavor from the bourbon and several slices of thick-cut bacon. Not to mention, beans freeze notoriously well, which means that a big pot of beans now can mean sides of baked beans a couple of months down the road.
Believe me, you’ll be thankful for that when there is snow up to your…nevermind.
- 1 pound dried pinto beans
- 7 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 1½ cups water
- 1 cup bourbon
- ½ cup ketchup
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 6 tablespoons molasses
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Place the dried beans in a large bowl. Cover with 2-3 inches of water, and let soak for 8 hours or overnight at room temperature.
- When the beans are finished soaking, drain and place the beans in a slow cooker (minimum 3½-quarts). Place the diced onion and bacon on top.
- In a bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients and pour over the beans. Cover and cook on high for 12 hours. 1-2 hours before the beans are done, you may want to check the sauce for consistency. If it seems too thin, prop the lid open slightly with a wooden spoon to allow the sauce to reduce and thicken slightly while the beans finish cooking.
- If cooking overnight, allow the beans to cool to room temperature before placing in the fridge. Reheat before serving.