Thursday, July 9, 2015

Baked Beans Part 2

Just took the pot out of the smoker:

Took it into the kitchen and opened it up:

Almost all of the liquid is absorbed.  I gave them a good stir and dished some up:

The beans are still intact, and the onion has vanished, except for their taste.  The lean part of the bacon is still there, but the fat has dissolved into the sauce.  The flavor is creamy and savory with just a hint of sweetness and a tiny bit of pepper tang at the back.  

Some of the yummiest baked beans I've ever tasted.  I'll be making these again and again.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Baked Beans Part One

Okay, it's not SCA period, but it's pretty cool.  

On our recent vacation, we went to Sturbridge Village.  One of the things we saw was the pottery shop.  The artisans who work there make redware pottery which is sold in the gift shop.  

When we stopped in the gift shop, it was overwhelmed with kids lined up to buy candy (it was obviously field trip Friday), so I waited until I got home to order a medium bean pot.  

I poked around and looked at recipes, including the Old Sturbridge Village Cookbook, which is basically beans, pork and salt pork.  Bearing in mind that I didn't want beans that tasted like candy, but did want some tomato in the mix, I decided to try Alton Brown's Baked Beans recipe, with some modifications.  

I left out most of the jalapeno and the cayenne pepper, because I really wasn't looking for spicy here, more savory.  I also used tomato ketchup instead of tomato paste, because I had ketchup in the fridge. 

I soaked a pound of navy beans overnight and then followed the recipe.

I prepped everything in a cast iron pot and then ladled them into the bean jar, which I had preheated with hot water to avoid thermal shock.

Since I don't have a wood fired oven and since I really, really didn't want to run my oven for 8 - 12 hours (it's really hot out and we just broke down and put on the A/C today), I moved the bean pot into the electric smoker.  It's currrently running at 250 degrees, and tonight I'll turn it down to around 200 degrees and take it out in the morning.  

Next, taste results!