With the season so deliciously close we've been discussing amongst ourselves what regular features we want to continue this season and since apparently everyone on this blog fancies themselves as Bobby Flay where grilling is concerned, the tailgating recipes are one we're going to stick with. Since the 4th is on Monday and we'll all be firing up the grills anyway, it seemed like a good time to go ahead and get started. This week we're doing a classic side, baked beans. This recipe feeds a lot of folks so it's perfect for a big tailgate, but if you're just entertaining a few friends you might want to cut it in half. It also takes a pretty good while to make, so schedule accordingly.
2 cups dried navy beans
2 cups dried pinto beans
1/2 lb smoked sausage.
1 12 oz package bacon
1 large onion
1 large bell pepper
1/2 cup molasses
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 cup ketchup
2 cups barbecue sauce (whatever brand/style you prefer)
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
To get things started, soak the beans overnight in 14 cups of water. Once they are soaked, cut the sausage into bite size pieces and add to the pot. Bring to a boil and let simmer for about an hour, until the beans are tender. DO NOT drain the beans, you'll need some of the liquid later.
Once the beans are tender layer 1/2 the beans into a casserole dish (or since we're talking tailgating an aluminum pan), and top with 1/2 of the bacon (cut into 1 to 2 inch pieces), onion, and bell pepper. Add the rest of the beans, and top with the rest of the onion and bell pepper.
In a saucepan combine the molasses, salt, black pepper, dry mustard, ketchup, barbecue sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar. Bring to a boil, and pour over the top of the beans. Add enough of the reserved cooking liquid to just cover the beans, then top with the rest of the bacon.
Cover with foil and bake in the oven at 325 for five hours, removing the foil covering about half way through. Add cooking liquid as necessary to keep beans from drying out.