Spicy Red-Eye Baked Beans
photo by Jostlori
- Ready In:
- 51hrs 10mins
- 1 lb dried pinto bean
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tablespoon dried ancho chile powder
- 1 teaspoon dried chipotle powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground allspice
- fresh ground black pepper
- 6 cups lower-salt beef broth
- 1 meaty smoked ham hock
- 1 cup brewed coffee
- 1⁄3 cup mild molasses, such as Grandma's Original
- 1⁄3 cup ketchup
- 2 sprigs fresh oregano
- 1 tablespoon Bourbon (optional)
- kosher salt
- Sort through the beans to make sure there are no little stones and then put them in a large bowl or pot. Add enough cold water to cover the beans by 2 inches and let soak overnight. Drain the beans well, tilting the colander instead of shaking it to gently extract the water and protect the beans' skins.
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 300°F
- Melt the butter in a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes.
- Add the chile powders, cumin, allspice, and 1/2 teaspoons pepper. Cook, stirring, until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add the broth and ham hock. Stir to combine. Add the beans and bring just to a simmer. Cover and bake until the beans are easy to bite into but still a little mealy in texture, 45 to 60 minutes.
- Stir in the coffee, molasses, ketchup, Worcestershire, and oregano. Bake, uncovered, until the beans are fully tender, 30 to 60 minutes more. Cool to room temperature. Discard the oregano stems and the skin from the ham hock. Cut the meat off the bone and chop. Add the meat to the beans and discard the bone. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- To finish, bring to a simmer, uncovered, over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer until the sauce is reduced to the consistency of thin gravy, stirring occasionally so the bottom doesn't burn, 40 to 60 minutes. Stir in the bourbon (if using) and season the beans to taste with salt and pepper.
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Ten stars!!! These were so, so good! I did the quick soak method, and because they have no pinto beans here, I had to use black beans. No matter. These were just excellent. The coffee with the molasses adds a deep complexity to the dish. And the finishing touch is the bourbon. I also added about 1/4 tsp instant espresso towards the end, to liven up the coffee flavor. Simply amazing. Made for Culinary Quest 2 by a Toasted Tourist.
RECIPE SUBMITTED BY
I didn't start cooking until my early 20's, even though I come from a family of accomplished and admired home cooks. While I grew up watching my Italian grandmother in the kitchen, I remained uninterested in trying anything on my own. As a young lady, I was known for being particularly ignorant in the kitchen, with no idea how to even make a hot dog! All this changed, however, when I got engaged. I realized it was time to let my inherent talents out of the bag. At the time, the New York Times had a weekly column called The 60-Minute Gourmet by Pierre Franey. Each week, I would follow these recipes diligently, and taught myself to cook that way. From there, I began to read cookbooks and consult with relatives on family recipes. At my ripe old age now, I feel I know enough to put together a very pleasing meal and have become accomplished in my own right. Having an Irish father and an Italian mother, I'm glad I inherited the cooking gene (and the drinking one too!). One thing I have learned is that simpler is always better! I always believe cooking fills a need to nurture and show love. After being widowed fairly young and living alone with my dog and cats, I stopped cooking for awhile, since I really had no one to cook for. I made care packages for my grown son occasionally, and like to cook weekly for my boyfriend, so I feel like I am truly back in the saddle!!