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This is my adaptation of a recipe from Alton Brown's "Good Eats" television show. It keeps exceedingly well, the flavors developing over several days. Although the myth about soaking beans overnight has been debunked, it is necessary in this recipe, but not for reasons related to the old admonishment. You will find the Kitchen Aroma Factor of this dish to be mouth-wateringly high!
- 1 lb dried great northern beans
- 1⁄2-3⁄4 lb bacon, chopped
- 1 large white onions or 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 4 -6 jalapeno peppers, chopped (no need to remove seeds)
- 1⁄4 cup tomato paste
- 1⁄4 cup brown sugar
- 1⁄4 cup rich-tasting molasses (I use blackstrap for the most intense flavor)
- 1⁄4-1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 5 -6 teaspoons of bufalo chipotle hot sauce (or a similar brand)
- 1 -2 teaspoon Bourbon (optional)
- 3 -4 cups vegetable broth
- Sort through beans and remove any rocks, discolored beans, etc.
- Rinse thoroughly.
- Soak beans in a plastic container overnight in just enough cold water (@2 cups) to submerge them completely.
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
- Place a large cast iron Dutch oven over medium heat and stir in the bacon, onion, and jalapenos until enough fat has rendered from the bacon to soften the onions, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the tomato paste and brown sugar.
- Mix chipotle salsa with the molasses and add to the bacon mixture.
- Drain the beans and reserve the soaking liquid; add the drained beans to the Dutch oven.
- Place the soaking liquid in a large glass measuring cup and add enough vegetable broth to equal a total of 4 cups of liquid.
- Stir in bourbon, then add to the Dutch oven.
- Bring to a boil over high heat.
- When the beans reach full boil, add the cayenne, salt and pepper; give the whole a couple good stirs and cover pot with a lid.
- Place in preheated oven and bake for 6 to 8 hours, stirring up from the bottom once or twice, until the beans are tender.
- Contrary to popular belief, the seeds of chiles actually carry very little heat.
- Capsaicin, the chemical compound that gives peppers their"pungency," is carried almost exclusively in the veins of the fruit.
- Tabasco now has a chipotle variety; whatever the brand, it must be a liquid hot sauce, not a chunky type salsa.