BBQ Baked Beans

We know it’s winter when the available fresh, local produce begins to dwindle, and we turn to heartier fare – long simmered dishes and stews that warm our bellies as well as the house as they cook.

I woke up this morning to the most beautiful winter morning – snow falling gently over the lake, covering everything in a beautiful white blanket, and making the city look a bit like a holiday snow globe. And we’re definitely getting in the holiday spirit in our house this weekend, as we had some of my girlfriends over for our annual holiday potluck brunch. And this evening, I finally cooked my own turkey…more on that later.

The mission this morning was a big pot of BBQ baked beans. These do require some planning ahead – the beans need soaking, then simmering on the stove, and finally 4-5 hours in a low oven. I promise you the waiting is worth it for this pot of beans. Smoky, a bit spicy, and meltingly tender beans. And, the long, slow baking warms up the house on a cold, snowy day!

Baked Beans
8-10 servings

5 Weight Watchers points per serving (2/3 cup per serving)

Bean sauce:
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup molasses
2 T tomato paste
1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground pepper
2 T whole grain mustard
2 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp salt
2 T siracha hot sauce

1lb santa maria pink beans, soaked
1 onion, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 slices bacon, sliced

  1. Soak the beans overnight, covered in at least 3 inches of water. Pour the beans and soaking liquid into a large dutch oven or pot and cover with at least 1 inch of water. Cover and bring the beans to a boil, then reduce to low and simmer for 30-60 minutes, or until the beans are beginning to get tender.
  2. While the beans cook, combine the ingredients for the “bean sauce” in a large bowl.
  3. Preheat the oven to 250.
  4. Drain the beans in a colander over a large bowl, to reserve the bean cooking liquid. Add two cups of the reserved bean broth to the bean sauce mixture and whisk.
  5. Place beans, onion, garlic and bacon back in the dutch oven, and mix to evenly distribute the onion and bacon. Pour the wet mixture over the beans, and place in the oven, covered. Bake for 4-5 hours, stirring a couple of times, making sure that the beans do not dry out – add a bit of water if needed. When beans are done, the sauce should be thick, and cling to the beans.

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