Friday, April 28, 2006

More Bean Evolution

My search for the perfect BBQ baked beans continues.
I was browsing through cookbooks and looking online for general BBQ sauce recipes when I had an incredibly strong sense/smell memory. When I was a child and we would be having some kind of braised meat (or less often, short ribs) for dinner, my mother would have a pan of barbecue sauce simmering on the stove. I always liked the meat all right, but for me the sauce was the star of the meal. There was always rice with those dishes, and I would ladle as much sauce as my mother would let me have onto as much rice as I could grab, and I would gobble it up.

I haven't thought about that sauce for years, but the instant the sense memory hit, I knew it was what I was looking for in my beans. At some point I'm sure I had the recipe, but it's been lost along the way, so I had to try to reconstruct it from memory.

And my first attempt was successful, I'm happy to report. What made this sauce so distinct in my memory is that it has lemon juice in it. It was a special treat to get a super-thin slice of lemon in my portion. I think my mother may have used ketchup as the base, but I'm trying to avoid high fructose corn syrup and processed foods, so I thought I'd try it with tomato sauce instead. I have a memory of Worcestershire sauce too, but I didn't have any on hand. What I did have was a bottle of Pickapeppa sauce I bought years ago with some vague idea of what I was going to do with it. This turned out to be its destiny in my kitchen, I think. The only thing I had to buy especially for the sauce was the lemon. I had everything else on hand.

For this attempt, I decided to use navy beans. I think I was going for something along the lines of Boston Baked Beans in look and texture. They're good, but a little too firm for this dish. I think next time I'm going to try pinto beans, or pink if I can find them dry.

Lynda, you said to let you know when I found a good BBQ bean recipe. This might be a little sweet for your taste, but I think this may be it.

I'm finding my way around Blogger a little more. Look what I can do now:

Home Cookin 4.9 Chapter: Test Kitchen

BBQ Baked Beans (Pass 1)

3 c. cooked navy beans, drained (canned is fine, but rinse them)
2 Tbsp. oil
1 med. onion, finely chopped
8 oz. tomato sauce
1-1/2 Tbsp. molasses
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp. Pickapeppa sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in saucepan. Add onion and saute until translucent. Add all other
ingredients, mix well and turn into casserole dish.
Bake at 325 degrees F. for approximately 1-1/2 to 2 hours.

Makes approximately 4 servings.


misreall said...

Sounds great. What I might do is play around with some bacon to get a little more smokiness and cut a bit of the sweetness.

dejamo said...

Mmmmmmmmmmmm. Bacon.

That would be awesome!

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