July 3, 2017
July 4 is a holiday that begs for baked beans, but I dislike the mealy canned versions, doctored with too much brown sugar, ketchup, mustard and bacon. That may seem sacrilege, but that's how I roll. So, I looked up a recipe, which I have altered to my tastes. I must give credit, so I've posted a link to the original recipe below. You will need a cast iron Dutch oven.
Pat's July 4 Baked Beans
Based on a recipe by Alton Brown, posted on the Food Network at this link: Once and Future Beans, courtesy of Alton Brown
1 pound dried Great Northern beans 1/4 cup olive oil 1 onion, chopped 1 Anaheim or Hatch green pepper, chopped 20 pieces precooked bacon, chopped 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce 1/3 cup dark brown sugar 1/4 cup molasses 36 oz. (4 cups) low sodium chicken broth 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon black pepper
Night before: Soak beans in a plastic container overnight in enough cold water to submerge them completely.
Day of cooking: heat oven to 250 degrees F.
Place a cast iron Dutch oven over medium heat. Saute onion and chopped pepper in olive oil until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the bacon, tomato sauce, dark brown sugar, and molasses.
Drain the beans and reserve the soaking liquid. Add the drained beans to the Dutch oven, along with 4 cups of chicken broth and 2 cups of the soaking liquid. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add in cayenne, black pepper and salt. Give all 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. Be sure to check at 4 hours to see if you need to add another cup of the soaking liquid.
Note that the original recipe has 2 teaspoons of salt. I don't think you need it, not with 20 pieces of bacon already in the mixture.
Let me know if you make these baked beans. Enjoy!