Monday, April 17, 2006

Much Tastier than Prairie Hay, Thank You Very Much!

While we were in San Diego for my Grandmother's funeral, The Feared Redhead and I decided we'd like to go back down there for vacation, so we can visit when we have more time and aren't there to bury anyone (the reason for both our visits since leaving). One resolution I made while there was to stay in closer touch with my family. Towards that end, we plan on throwing a barbecue for my family, to be hosted at my cousin's house.

In preparation for said event, I decided to try my hand at making bacon and beans. Baked beans, pork and beans, ham and beans -- beans are a common staple in every part of the US. And they go well with barbecue. Because this was practice, I made a huge batch. They were delicious, but be aware that this makes enough beans to feed an army if you decide to try the recipe.

Bacon and Beans
2 lbs pinto beans
enough water to soak said beans and keep them covered once soaked
1/2 lb bacon
1/4 of a large onion or 1/2 of a medium onion
2 clove of garlic
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup honey
1 6 oz can of tomato paste
1-2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp ground oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
2 bay leaves
dash cayenne

Soak the beans overnight (at least 8 hours, I soaked these for 24). Strain beans, saving soak water. Cut bacon into 1 inch long pieces. Chop onions and mince garlic. In a 4-quart dutch oven, heat bacon over medium high heat until it starts to sizzle. Add onions and garlic. When Onions soften, add the beans, honey, molasses, tomato paste, and enough soak water to fill to just below the lid. Add in paprika, oregano, cayenne, cumin, bay leaves, and salt to taste. Heat to a boil, lower heat to medium low and continue to boil for 10 minutes. Cover and place in a 275 degree oven for 6 hours, stirring occasionally.

Serves everyone.