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.
- 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.