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Blue Smoke's Baked Beans

  • servings: 20




To Cook the Beans

  • 1/2 pound dried cranberry beans
  • 1/2 pound dried pinto beans
  • 1/4 pound dried navy beans
  • 1/4 pound dried northern beans
  • 4 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 4 medium stalks celery, cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 2 small onions, halved
  • 4 dried bay leaves
  • 8 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 teaspoons coarse salt

To Finish the Baked Beans

  • 5 ounces bacon, diced
  • 1 1/2 ounces guanciale (cured pork jowl), diced
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 3/4 cups ketchup
  • 1 1/2 cups bean-cooking liquid
  • 1/2 cup dark-brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons Magic Dust
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar (with chili pepper)
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Texas Pete's Hot Sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika


  1. Step 1

    Cook the beans: place each of the beans in a medium bowl. Add enough water to cover by 1 inch. Soak, refrigerated, overnight. Drain, and transfer each bean to a separated pot.

  2. Step 2

    To each pot, add enough water to cover beans by 2 inches. To each pot add, 1 carrot, 1 stalk celery, 1/2 onion, 1 bay leaf, and 2 sprigs parsley. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook until tender, 1 to 2 hours, depending on the bean. Ten minutes before the beans are done, season each pot with 1 teaspoon of salt. Drain, reserving a total of 1 1/2 cups liquid. Discard vegetables and herbs. At this point the beans may be combined.

  3. Step 3

    Finish the baked beans: In a large stockpot over medium heat, combine the bacon and the guanciale. Cook, until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the onion and peppers, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion becomes translucent, about 5 minutes more.

  4. Step 4

    Add the ketchup, bean-cooking liquid, sugar, Magic Dust, vinegar, molasses, mustard, salt, hot sauce, Tabasco, and smoked paprika. Bring to a boil. Add beans, and return to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook for 30 minutes. Taste and adjust for seasoning.