Things I did this weekend?
-watched some sort of disgusting insect build a nest/cocoon/filfthy mansion underneath my husband’s garage door and had a complete meltdown about it. I looooooathe bugs.
-dropped my iPhone in a vat of buttercream. Not as sweet as it sounds.
-drank a dark chocolate bourbon cherry soda float. I was forced, I tell you. FORCED.
-watched The Notebook and pretended it was real life. Like… my real life.
-met Mario Batali and watched him cook some sauseeeeeege.
-bought a million (more) pieces of neon clothing because I live for the 90s. Even though I have no style, this is one trend that I’ll never let go.
-reminisced about how I used to hairspray the front of my hair into this crazy wave thing while wearing hideous 4-inch raised platform flip flops. WHAT. I hope those stay out of style forever.
-and made baked beans from scratch!
I can’t even believe it. Up until like… a year ago maybe? I didn’t even like baked beans. I had a huge mental block against them. No clue why. But then I ate some good ones, and was hooked for life. I ate them everyday with eggs for about six months straight. I put them inside of sandwiches and ate them on top of potatoes. So the first time I made these, I threw a bunch of random ingredients in the pot and said a little prayer. The next time, I made a few tweaks (…more bourbon) and said another.
And I’ve totally decided that beans are one of my favorite foods. I am absolutely horrific at picking favorites of anything – and I do mean anything – I can’t pick a favorite song, TV show or movie to save my life. Except for right now when I tell you The Notebook is the greatest movie in all the land.
So beans it is. Any and all beans. I eat them every single day, sometimes twice a day. This is a monumental moment in my world, because I’m pretty sure the last time I declared a favorite food was at age twelve when I simply would say “potatoes.” And that’s only because I ate my mom’s potato chip potato casserole like it was going out of style (which it totally was, but don’t worry she still makes it), mashed potatoes, and “baked” potatoes – which in my world was the flesh of a baked potato scoop out on to my plate, covered in salt, pepper and butter then mashed with a fork. Anytime I was given a baked potato in a restaurant the proper way, like wrapped in foil or simply baked and sliced down the middle, I was like…. um, no. This is not a baked potato.
But anyway… bacon, avocados and chocolate would round out the list. Those are the top four, until I change my mind tomorrow.
And now I can easily say I won’t ever grab baked beans in a can again. So much flavor here, so much texture, so much bacon and so much booze. With just a hint of bourbon, these beans are definitely our new go-to recipe. They can be made in advance and with just an hour of prep work you can throw everything in the crockpot and leave them to their own devices.
Summer here we come!
Crockpot Bacon Bourbon Baked Beans
serves at least 6-8
1 pound dry navy beans
10 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into pieces
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups water
3/4 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce
1 cup loosely packed brown sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons molasses
1 cup bourbon
1 1/2 tablespoons ground mustard
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
The night before, add beans to a large pot and cover with water. Drain the next morning.
Bring beans to a boil in a large pot of water, let simmer for 30-40 minutes, then drain. While beans are cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat and add bacon. Cook until crispy and fat is rendered, then remove bacon with a slotted spoon and let drain on a paper towel. Reduce heat to medium-low and add onion, cooking for 8-10 minutes, until caramely and soft. Add in garlic, cook for 30 seconds, then turn off heat.
Add water, bourbon, brown sugar, bbq sauce, ketchup, ground mustard, vinegar, molasses and worcestershire sauce to the crockpot and whisk well to combine. Add in beans, onions (and all of the bacon fat) and bacon to the crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 10-12 hours, stirring occasionally. After 10-12 hours, turn crockpot to “warm” setting or turn off completely and let sit anywhere from 30 minutes-2 hours, which will help the sauce for the beans thicken even more. These taste even better the next day!
Note: after 10-12 hours the liquid may still seem “liquidy.” It is imperative to let the beans sit for a while on the lower setting (or on the off setting, still covered) so they become thick and syrupy like traditional baked beans.
And later I’ll tell you about this bread. Because I love your guts.