David Page's mom always made the tastiest baked beans in the family, but now David has come up with a recipe that may even rival hers. Perhaps they'll have a baked bean cook-off this year.
Plus: More Vegetable Recipes and Tips
3 1/2 cups dried beans, such as cranberry, Great Northern or pinto (about 1 1/2 pounds)
9 ounces thickly sliced bacon, cut into 1/2-inch dice
3 large green bell peppers, cut into 1/3-inch dice
2 medium yellow onions, cut into 1/3-inch dice
4 medium celery ribs, cut into 1/3-inch dice
1 jalapeño chile, finely chopped (with seeds)
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
4 cups veal stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
4 cups best-quality barbecue sauce
One 12-ounce can tomato paste
1/4 cup molasses
How to Make It
Soak the beans overnight in a large bowl of cold water. Drain and rinse the beans.
Put the beans in a large pot, add cold water to cover them generously and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to moderate and simmer the beans under tender, about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, in a large enameled cast-iron casserole, cook the bacon over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp. Remove the bacon from the casserole and set aside.
Add the green peppers, onions, celery and jalapeño to the casserole and sauté over moderately high heat for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes longer. Stir in the reserved bacon and the stock, barbecue sauce, tomato paste and molasses. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
Preheat the oven to 400°. Drain the beans and add them to the casserole. Bake for 1 hour, stirring the beans gently every 15 minutes. Season with salt and serve.
The beans can be cooled and refrigerated for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature and reheat thoroughly in a low oven before serving.
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