Homemade Baked Beans

I was given this recipe years ago by my friend Kathleen and although, I have made a few small modifications, I assure you, it is only in the interest of making an already superb recipe even more kick ass.

Kathleen got the original recipe from her friend's dad. Every so often, when he would make his amazing Homemade Baked Beans her friend would phone and say, 'Dad's making his beans - you HAVE to come over.' Kathleen told me that over the years, she has made her own modifications through trial and error and now, over the last five years since she first gave me the recipe, I've done the same.

Here is my current version of the recipe, which I just made yesterday, and I have to say, they're pretty damn good.

Homemade Baked Beans

1 pound of dry Yellow Eye Beans

4 Cups Cold Water

1/2 tsp Baking Soda

1 Onion, chopped

1/2 pound Bacon, chopped

1 Cup Ketchup

1/2 Cup Molasses

2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar

1 tsp Liquid Smoke

1/4 Cup Dark Brown Sugar, packed

1 tsp Dry Mustard Powder

1/4 tsp Black Pepper, ground

  • Put Beans in a bowl and cover with Cold Water - let soak overnight
  • Drain Beans - put in a pot with 4 Cups of fresh Cold Water - bring to a boil then add Baking Soda - reduce heat and simmer, COVERED, for 30 minutes
  • Drain beans over a bowl - you want to save 3.5 Cups of the Bean Water - if you don't get 3.5 Cups of Bean Water, just add water to make up the difference - set aside the Bean Water then rinse Beans with Cold Water
  • Add Beans to a pot with a lid that you can put in the oven - I use a really cool old orange enamelled-cast iron pot that my mum bought for me at a yard sale - add the Chopped Onion and Bacon to the Beans

  • In another bowl, combine Ketchup, Molasses, Apple Cider Vinegar, Liquid Smoke, Brown Sugar, Mustard Powder, and Pepper - whisk together then stir in the 3.5 Cups of Bean Water that you set aside - pour over Beans

  • Bake, covered, for 8 hours at 250 - I usually assemble everything and then put the entire pot in the fridge. Then, before I go to bed, I turn my oven to 250, put the pot in the oven straight from the fridge and then let them bake overnight. The smell of sweet smoky goodness actually woke me up a couple of times last night. Today we're going to enjoy these bad boys with some of Sean's wicked Bourbon-Brushed Baby Back Ribs and a loaf of Olive Oil-Rosemary Cornbread.