18 December 2012

Maple Baked Beans

I love kitschy kitchen goods, so you can just imagine my glee when I ran across this little bean pot on Ebay ... nothing screams 1960's retro like this little baby. Needless to say, I got it for a song and now, it needs some spicy beans to give it a proper welcome to the grey cottage.

I found a new take on baked beans in Ina Garten's barefoot contessa at home cookbook. She got the recipe from the boys of Stonewall Kitchen and it does smack of their forward thinking. I mean, really ... ginger, Chinese hot chili and garlic sauce, maple sugar, and ketchup ? These will be some kind of spicy beans that turn the traditional Yankee baked bean supper on its proverbial ear.

I'm planning a simple salad on the side, a pan of scones, and hot tea. It will be a Yankee supper by the woodstove. It's been snowing and spitting freezing rain off and on all day and I have been chilled to the bone. I'm looking forward to a warming meal. Pictures to follow at lunch tomorrow ...

In the meantime, I hope you're staying warm and cozy where ever you are perched this evening ...

So, there you go ! Just enough to have a bowl for lunch with a leftover scone (which needs to be dipped in that sweet and spicy hot sauce). These beans were magnificent! I used plain old red beans and shortened the soaking and cooking time on the whole dish, because I like my beans with a good bite to them and not mushy. I didn't strain the beans' cooking broth ... and I should have because we kept finding peppercorns in our bites of the finished beans and nothing screams broken molar like NOT finding the peppercorn before you chomp down hard on one! Be forewarned. Don't shortcut that particular step in the preparation.

I also cut this recipe in half so that SB and I would have one supper and some leftovers for one lunch. It's too close to Christmastime to have a fridge full of leftovers. It's an easy recipe to play with and I urge you to go for it!  Very sweet, very spicy, and very different!

Stonewall Kitchen's Maple Baked Beans Via Ina Garten
1 lb. dry red beans or red kidney beans
1 large yellow onion, cut into 8 wedges
1 bay leaf
6 whole peppercorns
¾ cup medium amber pure maple syrup
½ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
½ cup tomato ketchup
1 tbsp. Chinese chili/garlic paste
1 tbsp. grated ginger root
1 tsp. Kosher salt
5 oz. smoked bacon, cut into small chunks
Making the Beans:
1. Measure, pick over, and rinse the beans.
2. Place the beans in a deep bowl and cover with cold water. Let rest overnight or for at least 6 hours.
3. Drain the beans and place them in a deep, heavy saucepan. Cover with fresh cold water. Add the bay leaf, onion wedges, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer and cover the pan. Cook for 50 minutes or until the beans are still a bit firm and the skins are just beginning to crack when you blow on a couple.
4. Drain the hot beans , reserving the bean's broth . Strain the broth and set it aside for the time being.
5. Place the beans and half the chunked bacon in a covered beanpot. Pre-heat the oven to 225 °F and place the rack at its lowest level to make room for the beanpot.
6. Combine the maple syrup, brown sugar, ketchup, chili paste, ginger, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a good bubble, stirring to dissolve the brown sugar. Add to this mixture 1½ cup of the reserved bean broth. Mix well.
7. Pour the sugar and bean broth mixture over the beans in the beanpot, top with the other half of the bacon chunks. Cover and bake for 4 to 6 hours. Check the beans periodically to make sure they have liquid all around them , as they simmer. If more liquid is needed, use some of the bean broth.
8 When the beans have cooked for 4 hours, taste a bean to gauge the 'bite'. When the beans taste good to you, remove the pot and let the beans sit until you've prepared the rest of your meal. They'll stay hot for quite a while if you throw a towel over the beanpot and put it someplace warm.
Note: These are great with a bread that you can dip in the sauce and a cool salad or coleslaw. 


  1. I adore that gorgeous pot... we have a big junktique shop in a town nearby that seels all of this kind of stuff and everytime I go in a spend a fortune!... I love your baked bean recipe, quite unusual and something i've never tried before.

  2. Oh great recipe!!§
    I love baked beans!!

  3. What a treasure find! I am the same way with kitchen gadgets and pottery. The baked beans recipe sounds yummy. When you get a chance pop over to mines. You're invited to our Christmas Tree link-up party hope to see you there : )



Anonymous comments will not be accepted. Please be aware that due to spamming concerns, I must be able to track back. Use your Google account ID to comment.