Serve these delicious sweet and smokey baked beans as a main dish, or on the side. I bring them yearly to a dietarily mixed crowd Fourth of July BBQ, and I have to be sure to secure my full portion up front because everyone loves them and the pot will be empty.
Though I don’t drink, I add a touch of bourbon for flavor to these beans, which is optional. Adapted from Melissa Huggins, veganhugs.com.
Jill Nissinau offers a good and similar Instant Pot “baked” bean-from-scratch recipe, see https://nansimonsen.com/dishes/instant-pot-baked-beans/, but I’m willing to go slow with this dish for the caramelization and thus, extra-rich flavor.
Serves 8. May be doubled or tripled (which I did in the video for a large party).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat a 6-8 quart pot to medium/high. Add the chopped onion and stir, then let set a minute or two. ‘Saute’ with a few tablespoons of broth when it begins to stick and lightly color. The broth will cook off, and do this again. Do it a third time as the onions become more and more golden. This takes about 5 minutes or so. Lower heat and add the garlic with a touch of broth and stir till broth evaporates. Add tomato paste, and stir, then stir in dry mustard, cumin, smoked paprika, and crushed red pepper, and stir for less than a minute, until fragrant.
Add 1 1/2 cup broth and 1/3 cup whiskey (if using). Bring to a simmer. Add date paste (or maple syrup), molasses tamari, vinegar, Worcestershire, liquid smoke, salt (if using), and pepper. Stir to combine.
Add the beans and stir well to combine. Taste and add more seasonings if needed. May add a bit more broth if the mixture appears too thick.
If oven safe, cover with a lid or foil and place in the oven for 45 minutes, stirring midway through. After 45 minutes, uncover the pot and let it bake for 15 minutes more or until the sauce is thickened and caramelized on top. [This can be done entirely on the stove top, but best tastes best when cooked in the oven].
If cooking pan is not oven safe, transfer to a casserole dish and cover with a lid or foil and cook as noted.