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Ron's Ever-Evolving Best Baked Beans

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Joined: Dec 14, 2005


Posted to Thread #18178 at 8:48 pm on May 4, 2010

Ron Eade is the food editor of the Ottawa Citizen. He often posts delicious recipes, like the one below, that he has developed. Haven't tried this one but it certainly looks good. He suggests serving the beans with BBQ'd chicken, pulled pork with a side of slaw.

SYLVIA'S NOTE: After having prepared these beans my experience tells me to either boil the beans for half an hour after soaking or bake them at 300 F. and increase the time as needed.

Ron's Ever-Evolving Best Baked Beans
Serves 4 to 6

-- 1 pound (450 g) Great Northern beans

-- 2 tablespoons (25 mL) vegetable oil

-- 1 medium-size carrot, chopped

-- 1 onion, chopped

-- 2 cloves garlic, chopped

-- 1 smoked bone-in pork ham hock (or smoked pork belly, cut into bite-size pieces), about 1 pound (450 g)

-- 1/3 cup (75 mL) maple syrup

-- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) thyme

-- 1/3 cup (75 mL) barbecue sauce

-- 1/2 cup (125 mL) dry red wine

-- 6 juniper berries

-- 2 anchovies

-- 4 cups (1 L) chicken stock

-- 2 tablespoons (25 mL) balsamic vinegar

-- 2 tablespoons (25 mL) Dijon mustard

-- 1 cup (250 mL) tomato sauce

1. One day ahead, carefully pick through beans to remove imperfect ones and any bits of dirt or small stones. (Do not omit this step, or you could be in for dental work.) Place beans in a large plastic mixing bowl and cover with water by 2 inches (5 cm) to soak overnight.

2. Next day at about 11 a.m., drain beans and discard soaking water. Rinse well. In a five-quart cast iron Dutch oven, heat vegetable oil and sauté carrot, onion, garlic until onion is translucent but not browned. Add soaked beans, ham hock, maple syrup, thyme, barbecue sauce, red wine, juniper berries, anchovies, and enough chicken stock to cover beans. Bring to boil on stovetop, stirring to avoid scorching on the bottom, then cover with lid and transfer to oven preheated to 225°F.

3. Bake about 4 hours, then stir in balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard and tomato sauce. Remove pork hock(s) and gently pull off meat; discard bones and fat. Return bite-size pieces of meat to the pot and bake 2 hours longer, or until beans are tender, stirring occasionally to ensure beans do not stick to the bottom. (Do not overstir, to avoid turning beans to mush.) Remove lid, if necessary, to evaporate excess liquid about an hour before serving.

Edit: From the Ottawa Citizen On-Line, May 5, 2010

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