Baked beans are basically a dense and hearty bean stew, and yet they are somehow totally appropriate for a summer barbecue. Don’t question, just work it.
I love baked beans because of their acidity and sweetness; that balance is also the key to a great recipe and the reason they pair so perfectly with hearty grilled meats like ribs.
Now, when you make baked beans don’t undercook the actual beans. Think texture. not bite.
Also, these beans are even better the next day, so make them ahead or throw them in the crockpot and forget them. Though unorthodox they also make a tasty meal when served over a batch of quinoa with a bit of sauteed greens.
Baked Beans(serves 6)
Cover beans with water and soak in the fridge overnight. Drain and cover with water in a large pot. Add bay leaf and bring to a simmer. Simmer beans until just starting to be tender (about 2 hours). Add a teaspoon of salt and simmer until tender - approximately another 20 minutes. Drain beans reserving one cup of the cooking liquid.
Turn oven on to 325F. Chop bacon into cubes and crisp up in a pan over medium heat. Remove bacon and add the onion and pepper. Reduce heat to medium low and sweat until soft, add garlic and cook for 60 seconds. Combine drained beans, bacon, onion mixture and all remaining ingredients except miso into a large Dutch oven. Add ½ cup of the bean liquid and bring to a gentle simmer. Once it has started to bubble transfer to the oven to at least 90 minutes.
Check and stir every 45 hours or so, thinning out with the bean liquid if it gets too thick. Remove from the oven and stir in miso. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes and then taste, adding salt, and pepper as necessary. Serve hot. Note: this is even better the next day.