I love baked beans but hate all of the preservatives and calories from the sugar that come with the store bought canned varieties. This 4th of July I decided to try my hand at making my own.
I learned a few things by doing so:
- Even though you can put the dried beans right into the pressure cooker and shorten the prep time, DON’T SKIP SOAKING THE BEANS.
- Soaking the beans removes most of the indigestible sugars (which can cause gas) and re-hydrates the beans evenly so they are as plump and beautiful as they were when they were fresh. Pre-soaking the beans also allows the skins to be receptive to absorbing the flavors of the other ingredients.
- Use as many unprocessed ingredients as possible
Pressure Cooker Baked Beans
- 1 pound dried Navy (White Northern) beans
- 1/2 pound thick cut (from the butcher if you can) uncured smoked bacon (no nitrates or nitrites) – cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic chopped (or 1+1/2 tsp jarred chopped garlic)
- 1/2 cup (packed) brown sugar
- 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 2 tsp dried mustard
- 1/3 cup molasses
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/3 cup ketchup
- 2 TBLS Bourbon (I use Maker’s 46)
- 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp ground pepper
- 2 TBLS corn starch
- 2 TBLS cold water
Rinse dry beans in cold water in a colander, removing any debris. Soak beans using either 1) the Overnight Soak Method (8-12 hours in a bowl or pot of cold water covered with a lid) or 2) following the Pressure Cooker Quick Soak Method:
- Put the beans in the pressure cooker. For each cup of rinsed beans, add four cups of water
- Add a teaspoon of olive oil (this keeps the foam down)
- Bring the contents to a boil with the lid open using the BROWN setting
- Quickly close and lock the pressure cooker lid and pressure cook for 15 minutes at high pressure
- Open the pressure cooker using a Slow Normal release – open the valve very slowly
- Drain and rinse the beans under cold running water
Prepare the sauce base:
- Using BROWN setting – cook onions until translucent (about 5 minutes)
- Add garlic and bacon and cook until bacon is almost crispy
- Stir in brown sugar, and then the bourbon, scraping up all the brown, crispy bits from the bottom
- Add the chicken broth, mustard, molasses, maple syrup, ketchup, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir until well combined
- Return beans to the pressure cooker and close lid
- Set to High pressure and cook for 90 minutes
- Once cooking is complete, allow 10 minutes for the pressure to return to normal naturally, then release the remaining pressure and open the lid
- Turn pressure cooker to Brown setting.
- In a small dish combine the water and cornstarch.
- Stir the mixture into the beans and cook until the sauce thickens to the desired consistency.
- Remove from the pressure cooker to a serving dish and enjoy! #ThisGirlLovesToEat
*** Vegetarian Option: If you want to make these vegetarian, don’t add the bacon.