In New Orleans, Monday is Red Bean Day. Traditionally, that's laundry day, and back when doing the laundry actually took all day, homemakers needed a simple meal that would cook itself and be ready by dinner time. Red Beans and Rice filled the bill - simple and easy, it just needs a little seasoning, and some time. All beans can cook by the same recipe - black beans, white beans, lima beans. Here's our basic bean recipe, with a twist at the end that turns them into lip-smackin' barbecue delight. Now, everyday is bean day at our house.
Basic Navy Bean Recipe
Start the night before with:
1 lb. small navy beans, or other white bean
8 cups hot water
Wash the beans – remove any rocks and stones, the soak overnight (or a minimum of 4 hours)- in water.
The next morning, drain and rinse the beans – then put them in a large, non-reactive pot like a French oven.
Cover the beans with 2 inches of water, and slowly bring them up to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for 1 hour with the lid on, stirring and checking the water level often. Add water as needed to keep the beans covered by about an inch of water.
1 med/large yellow onion
1 green bell pepper
3-4 cloves of garlic, pressed
2 stalks of celery
2 Tbs dried parsley
After an hour, add the vegetables, and:
1 tsp-1 Tbs Crystal Hot Sauce (to your taste)
1 Tbs Lea & Perrins Worschestershire Sauce
2 tsp Kosher salt
2 tsp black pepper
Stir vegetables and spices into the beans and simmer, uncovered, for an hour, stirring and checking the water level – let the juice reduce so that you don’t have a lot of water over the top of the beans – they won’t absorb much more from this point, but they don’t need to be dry, either, or you won’t be able to make the sauce…. When the beans are soft, but before they begin to split and break up, remove one cup of beans and mash them with a fork into a paste. Add the bean paste back to the pot, and mix in well. Make sure the beans are still simmering, and simmer slowly to let the proteins set the sauce and thicken (may take 15 – 20 mins). Adjust seasonings and serve.
1 Basic Recipe of cooked Navy or white beans
Combine in a non-reactive sauce pan and bring to a boil:
1 1/2 cups GOG Basic Barbeque Sauce (or your store-bought favorite)
2 Tbs tomato paste (whisk to combine)
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tbs molasses
1/4 - 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp cumin
1 Tbs chili powder
1 Tbs mustard seed
1 tsp celery seed
2 tsp dry mustard
2 Tbs yellow prepared mustard
Pour the sauce over the beans in a medium sized disposable aluminum pan. When you cook the Boston Butt, DO NOT put foil down on the grate. Instead, set the pan of beans into the bottom of the grill, away from the coals, and put the roast on the grate directly over the beans so that the juices and fat drip directly into the bean pan. Cook for about 3 hours, or until the sauce thickens. Remove from the grill, stir once to incorporate the meat juices, and cover with foil. Re-heat very slowly in a warm oven, if necessary, before serving.
Pour the sauce over beans in the French oven and bake, covered, at 250 for about 3-4 hours – DO NOT STIR.
The beans will dry out a lot and the sauce will thicken, though it should not form a crusty top – that’s too done! Garnish with chopped BBQ meat – like the smoky ends of pork roasts – or crumbled bacon – and serve from the French oven.