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Bourbon Baked Beans


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I was at my niece's H.S. grad party yesterday and her mother served some

bourbon baked beans.....she used Beam White....I think she went a little heavy on the bourbon...it was definitely the dominant flavor...but it was ok...rich with dark sweetness. Not sure how many of the younger kids ate it ....or the effects!

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Hmmmm. My better half makes Kahlua baked beans whenever we barbeque ribs (or pretty much anything else). Maybe I can get her to substitute bourbon next time. I already have Jack Daniel's as a component of my special secret family recipe for barbeque sauce. (Don't ask).

Cheers!

Mark

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ILLfarmboy

I often add a splash of bourbon to baked beens. I usually use something I don't realy care for that is high proof and therefor quite concentrated in flavor, such as '05 WLW.

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A couple of days ago my wife made bourbon baked beans by substituting some Joshua Brook 8 y-o, 90 proof KSBR for the Kahlua. It was a fiasco. The alcohol must have cooked off completely, and there was no bourbon flavor. The beans had the consistency of engine oil sludge.

Jono: I wonder if you can get your hands on your sister/sister-in-law's recipe?

Cheers,

Mark

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I will ask her....then post the info...it may be a while..but I will get it.

She had some kind of sausage in the mix too.

This looks similar

http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,1977,FOOD_9936_34512,00.html

2 (16-ounce) cans baked beans, drained (recommended: Bush's)

1/2 cup chili sauce (recommended: Heinz)

1/4 cup bourbon (recommended: Jim Beam)

1/4 cup real bacon pieces (recommended: Hormel)

1 tablespoon molasses (recommended: Grandma's)

2 tablespoons brown sugar

Combine all ingredients in medium saucepan. Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to medium and continue boiling for 10 minutes. Serve hot.

Here is one with coffee added:

http://www.grouprecipes.com/1761/bourbon-baked-beans.html

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I always use bourbon in my beans.... I make loaded bean recipe..

2 large cans of Bush's Baked beans

1 can of Rotel Tomatoes with juice

2 tbl. of good chile powder (Pendry's is what I use)

3 Tbl. Dijon mustard

1 lb. of chopped smoked brisket (pulled pork will work here also)

3 tbl. Molassas (spg??)

2 oz. Bourbon

1 large onion chopped and lightly sauteed

Stir well in a throw away pan. I then smoke mine in a smoker withhickory for about 2 hours at 225F uncovered. You can also bake them in the oven at about 275F for a few hours... mighty good!!

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jono & cigarnv,

Thanks, fellas. SWMBO has looked over both recipes and pronounced them as do-able. We'll try one or both soon. Real soon--my mouth is watering already.

Cheers,

Mark

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I'm a batchelor for the night tonight whilst my wife is away on business.... These sound like the perfect recipies ;)

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You mean Yanks can tell a country deriving (more immediately than America) from the Britsih tradition something about baked beans?? :)

Gary

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Just an FYI story on the history of baked beans:

http://www.metnews.com/articles/2006/reminiscing062906.htm

“Baked beans have been popular in North America since before the Pilgrims landed on the eastern shores. Although many people think of Boston as the birthplace of the recipe, according to the National Restaurant Association, the Narragansett, Penobscot, and Iroquois Indians created the first baked bean recipes. The Iroquois discovered the critical ingredient, maple syrup.”

The baked bean primer went on to recite that the Pilgrims came along and adopted the dish, using molasses and pork fat in the place of maple syrup and bear fat contained in the Native American recipe.

“This dish was perfect for the Pilgrim household,” according to the Black Jack restaurant’s fact sheet, “because Pilgrim women were not allowed to cook on Sunday, because of their religious beliefs. The baked beans could be cooked the night before and kept warm until the next morning.”

It continued:

“During colonial days, Boston became the place that was famous for baked beans, hence the Boston Baked Beans that we’ve all heard of, and the reason that Boston received the nickname of ‘Beantown.’

And...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baked_beans

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2 (16-ounce) cans baked beans, drained (recommended: Bush's)

1/2 cup chili sauce (recommended: Heinz)

1/4 cup bourbon (recommended: Jim Beam)

1/4 cup real bacon pieces (recommended: Hormel)

1 tablespoon molasses (recommended: Grandma's)

2 tablespoons brown sugar

Ha! I guessed that a Food Network recipe consisting of opening brand name cans and bottles had to be from Sandra Lee. I was right.

I really love this article about her in Gourmet. It's on her Web site. I guess how you read the article depends on your perspective.

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That's interesting about the history of beans. However I am convinced the American dish is of English origin. Beans and bacon, well before the era of canning, is an age-old dish in the English country areas, and via that would have come over on the Mayflower. However, Americans adapted it to local tastes and the two local traits I think were maple sugar where used, possibly molasses (molasses would have been known in Britain from the 1500's after colonisation of the West Indies) and tomato. Tomato was a new world food itself. And so beans reach deep in the English psyche, reaching their apogee perhaps in the 1960's when dishes such as beans and toast were popular (this long before Jaime Kennedy!). The funny thing is, the English canned beans (I am referring to Heinz and similar brands) are really good - for beans - and different than the U.S. equivalent. Anyway beans and bourbon in the kind of recipes mentioned sound great, and something maybe to think about at a Gazebo as a late night snack.

Gary

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While it's true that tomatoes (and potatoes and chiles) are a New World food, they originated in South America. I don't think tomatoes were cultivated here until Europeans brought them, and the only wild tomatoes we know about are in South America (little tiny things).

Most solanaceous plants prefer weather warmer than New England and points north.

I am not a botanist; I just have read a lot about peppers and tomatoes, which does not translate well into being able to consistently grow them. The tomatoes and tomatillos are growing well, but the peppers are being lazy this year.

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Peppers usually flourish in late summer and early fall. Sweet (bell) peppers do ok in early summer, but the hotter varieties are usually coming best just before cool weather comes, which in my part of the country is late October to early November. Of course, YMMV.

Tim

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Late summer will be too late to get any fruit off the habanero. It takes those little rascals over a month to turn from green to orange (or red), and that's after the fruit is set and full sized. Last year at this time I had two good sized plants full of green fruit. I think I put them out too soon in the cool spring.

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Well, maybe the Brits did add tomato to the bean before we did, tomato catsup may be English in origin too. One thing is sure, tomatos were cooked initially before eaten raw because it was feared in a raw state they were dangerous. But anyway beans and bacon go way back in England, I'll find a reference.

Gary

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For the historically minded, some interesting comments from the canning entry in Alan Davidson's The Oxford Companion To Food:

"Canning of tomatoes on a large scale began in Pennsylvania in 1847-1849, at a time when this fruit had not yet won acceptance in the English-speaking world. A lively marketing campaign by the canner, who sent samples to President Polk and Queen Victoria, overcame doubts, and it was largely due to this campaign for the canned product that canned tomatoes were being sent to Britain from the U.S.A. .... Cans of pork and beans were made for the fishing fleet, in Portland, Maine, in 1875; and these may be regarded the parents of the cans of 'baked beans'".

Industrial canning would have followed and adapted home canning and preserving and I would think tomatoes were prepared in this way initially in both America and the U.K.

I had a book with a beans and bacon recipe, it was an English collection of provincial food recipes. I can't find it and think it may have been lost or discarded in our last move.

In that book, there was a story that workmen who built wooden sailing ships in the Middle Ages had a traditional meal of beans and bacon. It was said that one special day the King visited the men and tasted their local dish and pronounced it good. (This would have been an unusual event but such did occur occasionally, e.g., Queen Victoria is recorded I think as having visited a whisky distillery or merchant in the 1800's). I think the story said too that the sawdust from the woodcutting and shaping was used to smoke the local bacon.

I have another English book which records recipes used specifically with bacon and other cured meats. It has a recipe for broad beans and bacon, with no historical notes.

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dave ziegler

Last Night I broke out a can of Friends Boston slow cooked beans put them in a pot added somemore syrup and poured in a large pour of Bourbon Whiskey, I let them smimer for a good long time and added more Whiskey. They not only were good but wonderful ended up eating more then half he can! They just were full of Flavor and sweetness! You would think someone would market Bourbon Baked beans as Perdo markets their Bourbon Chicken Nuggets which are real good!

Dave Z

Old Hickory America's most Magnificent Bourbon

---------------------------------------------------

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John Thorne has an interesting discussion of baked beans - all of his discourses are both historical and cultural in nature - in Serious Pig. It is a Maine-focused discussion, and makes no mention whatever of tomatoes, but does discuss "sweets" vs. the more traditional "unsweets." "Sweets" typically are sweetened with molasses, perhaps rum, but it makes sense that tomatoes would be an alternative that worked its way in over time.

Additionally, tomatoes are definitely a native plant of the Americas, and were taken back to Europe after the colonization of America. As to who first added them to beans, I can't say, but I don't find much beyond what Gary posted in my rudimentary culinary library. I do know that they were certainly an import to Europe and - as Gary posted - were not eaten in Europe for some time because of fear that they were poisonous. Raymond Sokolov's excellent Why We Eat What We Eat discusses tomatoes at great length, but beans as a whole receive only a cursory mention with no discussion of how they are or were prepared or eaten.

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I found references to baked beans with bacon and similar dishes in The Cookery Of England by Elizabeth Ayrton. This is a combined history of English food and recipe book (circa 1970).

I had the story of the King and the beans a little awry: here is Ayrton's explanation:

"George III went to inspect the progress of the building of the Woolwich Arsenal and ate 'al fresco' with the workmen. They were having Beans and Bacon and he liked it so much that he instituted an annual beanfest".

Go King!

Further from Ayrton:

"This [beans and bacon] was a traditional English cottage [i.e., country] dish, but was also a favourite in the great houses [the mansions on landed estates], where in the early summer a side dish known as beans and collops [collops is bacon rashers] often featured at sixteenth- and seventeenth-century feasts".

From the same book, her recipe for "Pot Baked Beans" uses dried haricot beans, fat bacon [meaning American-type side bacon or fatback], "black or brown treacle" [molasses], onions and dried mustard.

Note that this recipe omits tomato, and IMO that is because being unknown in England when the dish was devised, it was not traditional. However, she gives an alternate recipe for baked beans which calls for "1 lb. tomatoes, blanched".

Mrs. Ayrton's book is devoted solely to English cookery and there is nothing in it to suggest any influence from America.

Still, while I believe this shows baked beans were originally English, recipes and foods had a way of getting around even centuries ago (witness the raising of turkeys for food in England which goes back centuries) so it is possible that the dish involving tomatoes was indirectly of American inspiration.

Gary

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Also, Mrs. Ayrton suggests for one of her bean recipes to use half water, half [hard] cider, since it gives a "delicious flavour". The idea to add alcohol to baked beans seems to go back a fair way, too...

Gary

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  • 3 weeks later...

This might be blasphemy to some here, but Bush's makes a really tasty bourbon and maple syrup version of their grillin' beans.

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This might be blasphemy to some here, but Bush's makes a really tasty bourbon and maple syrup version of their grillin' beans.

No not blasphemy, but the Country Style blows them Bourbon Grilling Beans outta the water.

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