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Barbecue "Baked" Beans

Traditionally, these beans were cooked in a low-heat oven almost all day. This on-the-stove version cuts the time in half without compromising flavor. Customary additions such as molasses and salt pork give the beans a sweet and smoky flavor.

  • Yield: Makes about 7 cups
Barbecue "Baked" Beans

Source: Martha Stewart Living, July 2005


  • 1 pound dried navy beans, or great Northern beans
  • 4 ounces salt pork, or thick-cut bacon
  • 1 large onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 cups tomato juice
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons unsulfured molasses
  • 3/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons prepared yellow or Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 10 dashes hot sauce, such as Tabasco
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Put beans in a large bowl; cover with cold water by 2 inches. Loosely cover beans with plastic wrap, and let soak at room temperature 7 to 10 hours.

  2. Drain beans; transfer to a large saucepan. Cover with cold water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, covered, until beans are very tender, about 1 hour. Drain beans, reserving cooking liquid; set beans and liquid aside.

  3. If using salt pork, trim meat from the rind, and cut meat into 1/4-inch dice. Score rind with a knife. If using bacon, cut into 1/4-inch dice. Transfer salt pork (meat and rind) or bacon to a large Dutch oven or stockpot.

  4. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered and meat is browned and cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer meat to a large bowl using a slotted spoon, leaving rind and rendered fat in the Dutch oven. Add onion and garlic to the Dutch oven. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, 4 to 5 minutes.

  5. Stir in tomato juice, tomato paste, molasses, sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, turmeric, hot sauce, 1 teaspoon salt, the beans, and 4 cups reserved cooking liquid. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover, and cook at a bare simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 1 hour. Uncover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 2 hours and 45 minutes.

  6. Season with salt and pepper. If not serving immediately, let cool completely, and refrigerate in an airtight container, up to 2 days. Reheat beans over medium-low heat before serving.


Reviews (1)

  • marlowlu 23 Oct, 2013

    great, solid recipe (without any meat). i added some chipotle in adobo sauce, veggie chicken-flavored bouillon, and braggs.

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