Have you ever been thinking that it was worth investing in something? No matter what your ideas were but highly unlikely that you were ever thinking about beans. But beans are worth every penny of investment, take our word here. They are so important for a great barbeque that we will never get tired of saying that you must keep your friends close, but your beans closer. Because once they’re done properly, you get a highly pronounced flavour of tartness and sweetness together with a touch of heat. In case you used all the right ingredients and techniques, of course.
Many would recommend starting with a box of good ol’ dried beans that need to be soaked overnight. They argue that this is the only way to cook the ‘proper’ dish. But we argue that there’s no such thing as ‘proper’ – simply cook the way it suits you and your needs best. With that in mind, we suggest that you save those 8-10 hours and start cooking your beans right from the can. Canned beans? Yep, but not only canned beans!
We want to develop a really strong and deep flavour. To do that, you’ll need some good bacon. What else can bring more joy than this ingredient alone? It’ll add meaty complexity, smokiness and so sought after umami taste. Start by crisping 200 gr / 8 oz bacon in a pan over medium-high heat. When done, take the bacon out, leaving all the rendered fat inside. You’ll need it to saute the aromatics: onions, carrots, celery, bell peppers, garlic, jalapenos, scallions, leeks, you name it. Let’s think in the ballpark of 3 cups of vegetables, but it’s really up to you. Then time for the big guns (measure in cups for simplicity sake): 1.5 cup ketchup, ¼ cup molasses, ⅔ cup brown sugar, ⅓ cup honey, 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 Tbsp hot sauce, some BBQ spice and 2 cups stock/water to dilute it all a little. Then add the canned beans (btw, you can try cooking with different types of beans to get a better presentation) with the reserved bacon and put your pan into the hot oven to let those flavours marry and the sauce to thicken up. So what do you think? Can these BBQ beans be proudly standing next to your pulled pork, grilled sausages or shish kebabs? Oh, yes, they can! And you know what else can be done with these gorgeous pulses? Go British on them and smear on a simple piece of toasted white bread. Accompany with scrambled eggs if you wish, but more often bread alone will suffice.