Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Beans and Franks

When I was little, we used to eat beans and franks like every other day in the summer. I figured with the frequency that we ate them, they had to be a pretty easy and quick dish. So, a few months back, I bought a can of baked beans and thought, awesome, easy dinner. Boy was I wrong when I read the directions. Though they are easy to make, baked beans are quite the slow cooked side dish. I put the beans back in the cabinet and thought, this is a better idea for a Sunday dinner.

Last week, when flipping through my Google Reader, I spied a recipe for Beer Baked White Beans from Everyday Food on the The Bitten Word. They looked incredible and got a great review. Though I had a can of baked beans in my cabinet, I knew that for the effort and the time they would both take, the Beer Baked White Beans would be much so better.

These beans came out delicious. All the flavor of mom's dish, but classed up a bit with the beer and the bacon. So good. By the way, if you don't read The Bitten Word, you must start. It's fantastic and one of my favorite DC Food Blogs.

Beer-Baked White Beans
Serves 6
  • 6 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced small
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 pound dried white beans, such as Great Northern or cannellini, picked over, soaked overnight, and drained
  • 2 bottles Belgian-style white ale (12 ounces each), such as Blue Moon or Hoegaarden
  • 1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid, cook bacon over medium, until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp and browned, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Increase heat to medium-high; add onion and garlic to pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, 4 minutes. Add mustard and honey; cook 1 minute. 

Add rosemary, beans, beer, and broth; season with salt and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil; cover and transfer to oven.

Bake until beans are tender and most of liquid is absorbed, about 2 hours. I checked on mine at about an hour and a half and they had absorbed all of the liquid, but still weren't done. I added more broth and cooked them until 2 hours. In the end they came out perfect.

Season to taste with vinegar, salt, and pepper. Stir in reserved cooked bacon.

 Serve as desired. We had ours with hot dogs.

What's your favorite classed up classic dish? Do you make baked beans from scratch or start with the canned version?


  1. We used to eat hot dogs and beans every Halloween before going out trick-or-treating.

    I don't make beans very often but I think I tend to use the canned ones when I do. I need to change that.

  2. Megan, that's so cute! We used to always eat beef stew.