When I tell you that these are the best baked beans you’ll ever have, you should believe me. They’re from an Alton Brown recipe, and I originally discovered it on the Serious Eats blog. (I wish my photo looked as good as that one, but you’re going to have to take my word for it. These are kick ass. I mean Kick. Ass.)
Probably the reason they’re so good is because the ratio of bacon to beans is 1:1. That’s right. For a pound of beans, you use a pound of bacon.
First, I’m diligently doing my prep work. Chopping the onions:
And jalapeno, too.
Measuring out my other ingredients:
The beans, which I had soaked overnight. I used a mixture of beans, not Great Northern as the recipe calls for.
Into the pot, the bacon. I cheated the whole one-pound thing, but not by much:
Next, the onion.
The molasses, sugar and tomato paste:
Then, the beans.
And some liquid. I used the soaking liquid and some chicken broth:
Bring to a boil:
Then let it ride in the oven for at least 6 hours. Yeah baby. Then you have the best beans ever. For serving with hamburgers. Or barbecue. Or just eating with a spoon.
1 pound dried Great Northern beans
1 pound bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 jalapenos, chopped
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Heat oven to 250 degrees F.
Soak beans in a plastic container overnight in just enough cold water to submerge them completely.
Place a cast iron Dutch oven over medium heat and stir in the bacon, onion, and jalapenos until enough fat has rendered from the bacon to soften the onions, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, dark brown sugar, and molasses.
Drain the beans and reserve the soaking liquid. Add the drained beans to the Dutch oven. Place the soaking liquid in a measuring cup and add enough vegetable broth to equal 4 cups of liquid. Add the liquid to the Dutch oven and bring to a boil over high heat. Add in cayenne, black pepper and salt. Give them a stir and cover with the lid. Place the Dutch oven in the oven for 6 to 8 hours, or until the beans are tender.