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velochic 05-22-2006 07:05 AM

Baked Beans recipe
Well, I will try to ask for this again. I think I did so about a year ago. I am looking for a baked beans recipe (possibly BBQ???) that is not very sweet. My hubby likes these kinds of beans and he has had them only a few times when in the US.

Does anybody have a good recipe from scratch for not-very-sweet baked beans?


Robo410 05-22-2006 08:17 AM

I do em by feel. you need chopped onion and garlic, smokey bacon to saute them with, ham hocks or smoked turkey legs to cook em with, tomato paste and diced tomatoes, and dark molasses (start with a tblspn or two for the pot). and of course if you have a smokin' bbq pit, let em hang out there with the lid ajar for a while...

so soak beans, cook with hocks and bones, sauted vegies, etc, add tomatoes after takiong meat off bones, continue to simmer em, let them thicken naturally. salt and pepper to taste, enjoy.

velochic 05-24-2006 09:52 PM

Thanks Robo... this combination of ingredients you listed... are the beans still not sweet like the usual baked beans? Smokey bacon can't be found here. BBQ's can't be found here... anything else that might get a smoky flavor out of it?

skilletlicker 05-25-2006 03:29 AM

First: This question is too deep for me and I would not respond were it not that you say you asked a year ago, presumably unsuccessfully, and this current question is a couple days old. I have a hunch that the solution will involve;
1. Pork fat (smoked would be nice, but not essential)
2. Cumin
3. Onion
4. Garlic
5. Peppers and chilies
6. Tomatoes

You said: I am looking for a baked beans recipe (possibly BBQ???) that is not very sweet.
Thanks Robo... this combination of ingredients you listed... are the beans still not sweet like the usual baked beans?
I'm going to guess you mean not as sweet as, for instance, Van de Kamps canned "baked beans". Not picking on any brand just trying to set a benchmark. If you tell us what you don't want we'll better be able to suggest a direction. Please advise something that, in Memphis Tennessee, I might recognize, that you don't want it as sweet as.

I love beans and make them from scratch often but I have no idea what "usual baked beans" are. Northern Boston baked beans I've tasted bear little resemblance to beans you would get with good southern barbecue, and I won't even get started on Texican beans.

I think all "baked beans" are sweetened with molasses or brown sugar or both. In the south the sweetness is often offset with vinegar, peppers (chilies) and maybe Kentucky bourbon or Tennessee whiskey.

I sympathise with trying to make something without ingredients some say are essential, but beans aren't tall hat, french chef rocket science. Everything needed is available virtually everywhere. Out of curiosity, what part of our country and, more important, what kind of environment, did your husband have the beans he liked so well?

Since virtually everone in America has a mother or aunt who made the best baked beans ever, this post should have angered enough of them that if you post a little more guidance on what you're looking for, there will be plenty of responses, if only to tell me how wrong I am.

The Z 05-25-2006 08:52 AM

I have used this recipe with great success. It has become one of my 'signature' dishes for occasions that call for it. I originally got it from Jeff Smith's book, "The Frugal Gourmet", in which HE credits the recipe to Boston's Durgin-Park Restaurant. Since sweetness is such a matter of taste, I would suggest trying the recipe and seeing what you think of it. If it's too sweet, adapt by reducing the amount of sugar. I am posting it as it appears in the book:

Boston Baked Beans
2 pounds white beans
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 large yellow onion, peeled
1 pound bacon or fatback, chopped
8 tablespoons sugar
2/3 cup molasses
2 teaspoons dry mustard
4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Soak the beans in water to cover overnight.
Cook beans in ample water with the baking soda. Simmer for 10 minutes. Drain, and rinse.
Place the onion in the bottom of a 3-quart ovenproof casserole. Add half the bacon or fatback. Add the beans. Top with the remaining bacon or fatback.
Mix together the sugaer, molasses, mustard, salt, and pepper. Pour this over the beans , and add enough water to barely cover. So not stir. Bake, covered, at 300 degrees for 6 hours. After a couple of hours, stir and check beans. You may have to add a bit of water now and then. Don't make the beans too wet.

Serves 6 to 8

Robo410 05-25-2006 09:10 AM

ok, not sweet : American baked beans get sweetness from sugar (brown or white) and light molasses and corn syrup (used in canning often) a little dark molasses will not sweeten much, but go easy with it.
salted pork of some type is needed and sausages (available in Germany ) find one with depth of garlic flavor...Bratwurst should do well, or kielbassa. Yes cumin will help, see if you can get canned chipotle in adobo (smoked jalapeno) if not, smoked salts may work (available from gourmet stores and on the net)
Italian Pancetta while not smokey has a world of flavor and is worth using.

skilletlicker 05-25-2006 03:27 PM

It's no coincidence that if you left out the beans, the ingredients we're talking about would make a pretty good barbecue sauce.:pig:

QSis 05-25-2006 07:37 PM

How about this one, velochic? I have NOT tried it, so I don't know how it tastes.


2 lb dried pinto beans
2 beef bouillon cubes
2 med. onions chipped
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 lb salt pork cut into chunks (leave rind on)
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
2-6 0z cans tomato paste
1 Tbs salt

Wash beans thoroughly to remove rocks and dirt. cover with water and boil repidly for 15 min. Remove from heat and set aside for 1 hr. Put back on heat, add water to cover, add all ingredients, simmer for 2 to 3 hours or until beans are soft but not mushy. Remove salt pork.
You can alter the spices to suit your own taste.

velochic 05-28-2006 06:11 PM

So far, I think QSis' may come closest. The problem is that I'm not a baked beans fan, so I'm trying to figure out a recipe 1). having never tasted the original dish and 2). having no clue about baked beans in the first place.

He says that the beans are not sweet like the tinned baked beans in the U.S. I remember only Bush's beans. He says the beans he liked have a smoky flavor to them, and no sweetness. When I ASKED if they were BBQ baked beans, he says, "No, those are sweet, too." So here I am flying blind because I don't eat BBQ or Baked beans.

He ate them, I think it was in Michigan or Philly. The mid-west to mid-atlantic area of the US.

He thinks they were made with Pinto or Kidney (red) beans. I can get Chili Bohnnen, which are kinda like chili beans (which is how it translates), but still far from American Beans in Chili sauce (like Brooks Chili Hot Beans). I wonder if I can start using these Chili Bohnnen. I hate using anything in a tin, but as long as it's not chemically processed and preservative-free, I'll use it... these Chili Bohnnen are okay to use. I can always rinse any liquid they're in.

I wouldn't know anything in Memphis, TN to which I can compare the taste... I've never been in that area of the US.

I hope this additional info helps everyone... help me... :chef:

velochic 05-28-2006 06:17 PM

Robo- If I ever get together a recipe to try, I'm sure in this pork capital of the world I can find some good cut of pig to add. :smile:

Mexican food is available, but it's like maybe 5 items. I'll look for some of those ingredients next trip back.

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