Perfect Baked BeansChief Longwind Of The NorthHi everyone. It's been a while since I've been on DC due to being very busy, taking care of my wife, work, and Church. So I had to bring to you some bean wisdom, based on fact, and proved in my own kitchen. Here's the skinny on cooking beans from dried to perfect.
Oh, and just so's you knows, the more you eat beans, the better your gut adjusts to them. I never suffer from flatulence from eating any kind of beans. I find that to be a good thing.
Lately, I've had a powerful desire to eat legumes, especially beans. To that end, I made baked beans, using great northern and navy bean Many are those that state that nothing can be added to the dried beans as they are cooking, or they will not soften. In fact, dried beans are better when the water is salted, as the salt helps keep the beans more firm, though still cooked through. Acid ingredients however, such as tomato, vinegar, onion, etc, will inhibit the softening of the cooking beans. Acidic ingredients can only be added after the beans are cooked until soft. A pressure cooker reduces the cooking time from dry to soft, from 2 to 3 hours, to 45 to 50 minutes.
There are so many recipes for making baked beans. They are usually sweetened with brown sugar, molasses, or maple syrup, or some combination of the three. I won't give measurements here, as I don't measure. But my recipe must include the following flavors - brown sugar, molasses, onion, smoke, pork, mustard, and chili powder. The mustard and chili powder are added in just sufficient quantity to alter the flavor of the beans, without being easily tasted. The onion flavor should be pronounced, but not overwhelming. The stars are the brown sugar, molasses, pork, and onion flavors that perfectly compliment the bean flavor. All flavors must accentuate each other, with none taking center stage, that is, the flavors must be balanced. These ingredients, when mastered, will give you exceptional baked beans that people will ask for again and again.
Oh, and the pork you use is completely up to you. I've used ham, ham hocks, country style pork ribs, pork chops, pork shoulder, bacon, and side pork. All gave me great pork flavor. And if there is one, I always simmer the bones with the beans. A little bit of smoke from smoked pork products is fabulous. If you are using fresh, unsmoke, uncooked pork, brown it and season with salt before adding it to the beans. Then, add a little liquid smoke flavor, just enough to make it taste great. Liquid smoke, and for that matter smoke, is bitter when over-used. Again, the beans and other ingredients must not get lost. The flavors have to balance each other. With that said, go make yurself a big pot of baked beans. Those that come ready-made in a can, don't even come close to as good.:wink:
Seeeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North3 stars