Baked beans are one of those things that seem pretty darned perfect right from the can with that long honored secret recipe locked away from us forever. So, when I set out to make my own batch of baked beans, Handsome asked why bother? One, I wanted too, two I wanted to see if a few hours of slow cooking and the geniuses over at Cook's Illustrated could convince me that going back to a can was never going to happen again.
It didn't. But that's not to say these beans weren't kicking, but when a good can of beans is at most $2, you really can't beat it. The pro's? This recipe can stand to be tweaked a lot. There's a lot that could be done to really customize some flavors. Also, you know everything you put in it. Knowing what's in your food goes a long way. So when I need something more then a weeknight quick fix side dish, these beans are totally worth the 11 hour wait.
- 1 onion, minced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbs vegetable oil
- 4 cups water, plus additional hot water as needed
- 1 lb dried navy beans, picked over and rinsed
- ½ cup plus 2 tbs barbecue sauce
- ½ cup brewed coffee
- ⅓ cup packed dark brown sugar
- 4 slices bacon
- 1 tbs prepared brown mustard
- hot sauce
- salt and pepper
- Microwave onion, garlic, and oil in bowl, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to slow cooker.
- Stir water, beans, ½ cup barbecue sauce, coffee, sugar, and bacon slices into slow cooker. Cover and cook until beans are tender, 9-11 hours on low, or 5-7 on high.
- Discard bacon slices. Stir in remaining 2 tbs barbecue sauce and mustard and let sit until thickened slightly, about 10 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and hot sauce to taste and serve. This dish can be held on warm setting for 1 to 3 hours before serving. Loosen with additional hot was as needed before serving.