Sweet smokey bourbon baked beans
• 1 lb dry great northern beans (or small white beans or navy beans) soaked overnight in water and drained of excess
• 5 cups chicken stock (*see note below)
• 1 small onion, finely diced
• 1 clove garlic, pressed through garlic press
• Cracked black pepper
• ¾ cup ketchup
• ¾ cup BBQ sauce
• 1 ½ tablespoons tomato paste
• Pinch or two ground cumin
• Pinch or two smoked paprika
• ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar
• 1 tablespoon molasses
• Olive oil
• 12 oz apple smoked bacon, crisped and chopped
• 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup
• 2 tablespoons bourbon
1. Start with the 5 cups of chicken stock; as the beans cook, you may need to add additional water in small increments if the beans are still a bit hard but are absorbing the liquid.
2. Add the soaked beans to a large pot; next, add in the chicken stock, the diced onion, the garlic, a few generous pinches of salt and of cracked black pepper, the ketchup, BBQ sauce, tomato paste, ground cumin and paprika, plus the brown sugar, molasses and a generous drizzle of olive oil, and stir the ingredients together.
3. Place the pot over high heat, uncovered, and once the contents begin to boil, reduce the heat to medium-low or low, partially cover with a lid.
4. Simmer the beans for about 4 hours, stirring occasionally (you may need to add the additional water during the latter part of the cooking process once the beans begin to absorb the liquid), or until the beans are tender and the sauce is rich and thick.
5. Once the beans are tender, turn off the heat; add in the crisped and chopped bacon, the maple syrup and the bourbon, and stir to incorporate.
6. Finally, check your seasoning to make sure that there is enough salty or sweet flavor, and adjust if necessary; serve the beans warm alongside your favorite grilled meats, hot dogs or other favorite BBQ items.