Baked beans have certainly grown on me over time. When I was small, I would do everything in my power to not touch the stuff, but with age I gained some wisdom along the way; and I finally discovered the beauty that is the baked bean. I love love love this recipe, and I’m so happy to share it with all of you. I think the key with this recipe was to develop great flavors. With a little bit of spiciness, yet a little bit of sweetness, this recipe is sure to please at your next BBQ. Sweet and savory baked beans: everything you could want in a picnic favorite! They may take up about 8 hours of your day, but don’t worry they are completely from scratch (except for the “growing the beans” part) and it will be more than worth it in the end. Besides, 7 of those 8 hours take no effort from you what-so-ever!
What I love about this recipe is the beer factor! Not only are we going to drink beer with food today, but we are going make food with beer too! This makes me very happy if you couldn’t already tell. If you are trying to think of a good beer to put in this recipe, I think you could go any way and it would be a good decision. We went with Deschutes Brewing’s Red Chair Northwest Pale Ale both for the beer pairing and for the beer we added to the beans. One of the reasons I went this route was because we have SOOOO much of this beer. Not that it takes away from the deliciousness of it because it is for sure absolutely delicious. This beer isn’t your everyday pale ale. It’s a special kind of pale ale. It has hints of hoppiness (I wish they would just add this word into the dictionary – it most definitely should be a word by now), but it also has hints of maltiness which makes it the craziest (yet most amazing) pale ale I’ve ever had. It also has a super pretty color! … So win, win!
Another thing I love about this recipe is the use of dry beans instead of canned. Any other time I’ve ever made “homemade” baked beans, I’ve used canned. I know that the use of dry beans can be scary to some. They were definitely scary to me for the longest time. They really aren’t difficult to use. You just have to be patient. They take a little bit of extra added work, and yes you will have to soak them for quite a while. The reason we only soaked our beans for an hour for this recipe was because we were baking them for so long afterwards. It is very important to soak, so don’t forget to do it! You may end up with a broken tooth (or 12) on your hands.
We are making a super herbaceous chicken salad tonight for dinner since our herbs are growing out of control and we really need to use them! Can’t wait to share this with all of you!
Have a great evening!