Friday, April 6, 2012

Maple chipotle baked beans

For a while now, I've been craving real from-scratch New England baked beans. Some months ago I read up on bean varieties and came across several mentions of Steuben or Maine yellow eye beans being the best choice. I couldn't find them available anywhere in the stores here, so I bought a package on Amazon.

Check 'em out - creamy pale skin with a mustard-brown splotch marked with a tiny eye:

A closer look:

Many sources stated that a classic bean pot had the perfect shape for baking beans perfectly each time, so I  lucked out and found this vintage stone bean pot from eBay for $15 - a steal!

Then I had to find the right recipe to yield sweet and tangy beans, fragrant with molasses and spice. I knew I wanted to use maple syrup, but I also knew that after last year's successful maple-apple-chipotle barbecue sauce (recipe to come), that a touch of chipotle to the beans would bring a deep smokiness and hint of heat that would be a great pairing for the maple and molasses.

I looked through a bunch of different recipes, made note of the commonalities in procedure and ratios and jumped in.

Basically, I winged it, but winging it got me this:

Delicious sweet and tangy baked beans.

Maple chipotle baked beans

  • 1 lb. yellow eye beans
  • approx. 1/2 cup of onion-type things: I used a combo of shallots and onion
  • 2 strips thick-cut peppered bacon (1.8 oz.), cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 T Dijon mustard
  • 2 T molasses
  • 2 T maple sugar (you can sub in brown sugar if you can't lay your hands on granulated maple)
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 dried chipotle pepper - soaked for an hour in hot water, cut into chunks - about 1/4 cup total
  • 1/2 cup strained reserved soaking liquid from the chipotle pepper
  • water to cover


1. Place the dried chipotle pepper in a bowl and cover with boiling water, Let sit for an hour, and then strain the soaking liquid, reserving ½ cup. Chop the chipotle and set aside.

2. Rinse the beans and put them in a large pot, cover with water plus an inch cover the beans, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover the pot and simmer for an hour over very low heat.

3. Preheat oven to 300 F. Chop the onion or shallot into large chunks and set aside.

4. Mix together the maple syrup, ketchup, Dijon mustard, molasses, maple sugar, Kosher salt and reserved soaking chipotle liquid and add the chopped chipotle and onion or shallot.

5. When the beans are tender, drain them and place in a bean pot, then add the bay leaf and bacon pieces and pour in the maple-chipotle sauce. Stir well, then add more water until the beans are covered.

6. Cover with aluminum foil and then nest the lid down tightly and bake for 5 hours or until the beans are fully cooked. Check every hour or so, stirring the beans and adding water as needed to keep the beans covered. The beans are done when they are tender to your liking - some people like them mushy; others like a bit of bite left to them.

7. Serve hot, preferably with a slice of piping-hot Boston brown bread topped with a pat of cold butter:

1 comment:

  1. This is the best baked bean recipe ever! Thanks for sharing! My own personal modifications I don't add the chipotle pepper, nor do I use maple but sub with honey = parts. They are delish!!


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