Today is a shared post day. Lana of Never Enough Thyme, part of our Progressive Eats group, is busy recuperating from some surgery and needed a little help from her friends while she rests. Lana’s southern roots shine through in many of her dishes, but everything is done with a distinctive twist that’s all Lana. Please go on over to check out her beautiful photography and fabulous recipes. You won’t regret it.
In honor of Lana’s Georgia roots, I wanted to make a dish that reminds me of the south. Yes, I know. I could have taken the more obvious route with grits, and I was sorely tempted. But baked beans is something my mom nailed, and she grew up in the neighbor State of Alabama.
Unfortunately mom’s recipe, like so many of hers, is gone, and I’ve tried a wide variety of sauces for baking beans for years. They’re all about the sauce, you know. I finally hit pay dirt a few years ago up on Signal Mountain, a steep mountain that towers over Chattanooga, Tennessee. I was visiting some cousins the day after Thanksgiving, and Terry, the husband of one of my cousins, had been slow-grilling some ribs all night long. Yes, all night and all the next day. The BBQ sauce he made for them was a showstopper. I just wanted to drink it, and even though I hadn’t eaten pork for a couple of years, I had to have a couple ribs. It would have been rude not to have. And then I had a couple more. Or four or five. Please don’t hate me.
Much to my husband, Carnivorous Maximus’s frustration, I didn’t make the ribs for this post. I may be a wimpy vegetarian, but I’m not quite that wimpy. And besides I wanted to test drive it with baked beans.
My first experiment taught me that what’s perfect for ribs, isn’t necessarily perfect for beans. My mom’s baked beans dish was sweeter and had oregano in it, and her recipe was my target. So I took Terry’s Amazing Tennessee BBQ Ribs Sauce and made a few changes. But mostly, the recipe is his, and still has that southern touch.
Add bacon or smoked ham hock, obviously. But in lieu of that, I recommend McCormick’s Grill Mates spice, Molasses Bacon. That’s the route I took, because as we’ve already established, I can be a wimpy vegetarian when it comes to this sauce.
Barbecued Baked Beans
- 1 1/2 cups ketchup
- 1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 6 Tbsp molasses
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 2 Tbsp mustard liquid
- 1 Tbsp McCormick Grill Mates Molasses Bacon spice
- 1/2 Tbsp dried ground oregano
- 2 tsp dry mustard
- 1 1/2 tsp onion granules
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 3 cups cooked white navy beans
- 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion diced
- Combine all ingredients in a large, heavy bottomed pot and heat up over medium heat to a slow simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Heat up the oil in a large creuset pan that is both stove and oven safe. Add the onion and cook until soft. Add the beans and 3/4 cup barbecue sauce. Heat to a low simmer and slide into the oven. Bake for 30 minutes.