Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Baked Barbecue Lima Beans

I love baked beans, and for years I've been trying to replicate the baked lima beans that my family used to get at a local farm market near Pennsylvania's Amish country. I mostly loved the sauce because the beans were always too hard for my taste. Now I know why they were always hard; you must cook the dried beans until they are tender to your liking because once you add tomato-based sauce to the beans they won't get any more tender no matter how long you cook them. Not sure why, but they just won't. I'm sure Alton Brown knows and maybe you can Google one of his shows and find out. In the meantime, you can take my word for it.

Here's my latest attempt and my family thinks it's a winner!

Start with a pound of dried lima beans. Pour them out on the counter and check for any foreign debris (often you will find a pebble or two) or blemished beans and discard those. Scrape the beans into a colander and rinse well, then put them into a pot and cover with at least 4 inches of water. They will swell as they absorb the water. Set the pot in a cool spot over night.
In the morning, drain and rinse the beans again, then continue on with my recipe.

Baked Barbecue Lima Beans

Serves 6

1 lb. dried lima beans
8 oz. bacon, chopped and cooked crisp (reserve 2 T. bacon fat in pan)
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 can tomato soup (14 1/2 ounce)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Pick over, wash, rinse dried beans and soak as described above. Place beans back into stockpot and cover with water. Salt water heavily (about 1 T.) Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce to medium low and simmer for 1 hour or until just tender. As beans cook, skim the frothy buildup from the surface of the water and discard.

Remove from heat and pour cooked beans into a colander. Rinse with cold water and pour beans into a large bowl. Add cooked bacon to beans.

In same skillet as the one you cooked the bacon, heat reserved bacon fat over medium-high heat and sauté peppers and onions until tender. Add these to the beans and bacon.

Combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Gently fold sauce mixture into the bean mixture until incorporated. Pour into a greased 3-quart baking dish. Bake until hot and bubbly, about 1 hour. Enjoy!

Bon Appétit!
Chef Debbie

1 comment:

FoodTravelDiva said...

Thanks for the tip on cooking lima beans. I like your recipe, at fist glance it looked like pasta shells, but either way it looks delicious!