Spicy Bacon And Black Pepper Baked Beans

Spicy Bacon And Black Pepper Baked Beans
4.3 from 3 ratings
I make this recipe a day or two in advance; the beans taste even better when reheated. If you cannot find black pepper bacon, use regular bacon and add 2 teaspoons ground black pepper to the beans. I save any remaining bean cooking liquid to use as the base for soups and stews.This recipe by JeanMarie Brownson originally appeared in The Chicago Tribune.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Spicy bacon and black pepper baked beans
Total time: 4.82 hours
  • 1 pound dried great northern or white beans
  • 1/4 cup bacon fat from black pepper bacon or 4 strips black pepper bacon, diced
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 ounce diced boneless pork shoulder or smoked ham, optional
  • 2 small ribs celery, diced
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup spicy barbecue sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. Rinse 1 pound dried great northern or white beans in a colander and inspect for small pebbles. Put beans in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Add 1/4 cup bacon fat (or 4 slices diced bacon) and 1/2 chopped onion and 1 1/2 cloves crushed garlic. Add cold water to cover everything by 2 inches. Heat to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to very low; partly cover the pan and simmer over the lowest heat until beans are tender, about 2 hours. (Add more water if needed during cooking to keep beans submerged.) Let cool. Beans can be refrigerated in their liquid for up to 3 days.
  2. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Strain beans over a large bowl to catch the liquid. Return beans to a Dutch oven or ceramic baking dish with a lid. Add remaining chopped onion and garlic, plus 4 ounces ham or pork shoulder, 2 sliced celery ribs, 3/4 cups brown sugar, 3/4 cups barbecue sauce, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir in 1 cup of the reserved bean cooking liquid.
  3. Put a piece of parchment paper over the pot, then cover tightly with the lid. Bake, stirring once or twice, 1 ½ hours. Uncover and stir beans. Return to the oven and bake uncovered, stirring once or twice to concentrate the flavors, about 1 hour. Serve warm.