|Photo by @TammyLeaPhoto|
Those uninitiated with the art of cooking anything outside need to understand that cooking in this manner is an art form. Using a difficult to regulate heating source is a skill that I have honed over the years. Some of these acquired skills I would like to share in hopes that you pass this tradition on to your family and friends.
Maybe I am a bit of a caveman, but for me there is a primitive allure associated with cooking over the open flames of a wood fueled fire that cannot be duplicated by a kitchen stove or gas grill. It stirs something deep in my soul to gather firewood, build a fire pit and organize a strategy for the food preparation. Cooking outside for me is a labor of love, this is not LOW stress cooking this is NO stress cooking, a time for relaxation and reflection.
Hot and Spicy Baked Beans and Grandmas Bake Beans Enjoyed Outdoors. What I have not until NOW blogged in any previous post is my Grandmother’s actual award winning bake bean recipe. After much consideration, I have decided that I should share so everyone can enjoy it, after all, I know Grandma would have wanted I that way.
The secret to making great baked beans on a fire pit is time and temperature. Beans cook best with a slow, constant temperature . . . not necessarily an easy task over an open fire. With practice, however, even a novice will quickly learn to tame a raging fire and make it into a valuable cooking tool. Hmmm, I think I smell future blog post.
Grandma’s Baked Beans
2 Pounds of Kidney Beans
4 Cups of Water
2/3 Cup of Molasses
1/2 Cup of Brown Sugar
1 Large Vidalia Onion, Finely Chopped
2 Packages of Salt Pork
2 tbsp. Prepared Mustard
Put all ingredients in a Dutch oven and slow cook for 3-4 hours.
- Soak and par-boil baked beans ahead of time. They can be frozen as well if needed.
- Adjust fire to simmer the beans and make sure they do not boil over
- For a “kick” add 1 ½ Cups of “Sweet Baby Rays” BBQ Sauce and 6 tbsp. of finely chopped chipotle chilies
- Stir and monitor bean frequently
- Monitor bean doneness by checking the consistency of the bean about every ½ hour. Beans should be soft but not to soft.
When the beans are about 45 minutes from being done, you should start preparing the bread.
1 Cup White Flour
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/4 cup Dry Milk Powder
1 tbsp. Shortening
1/2 Cup Water
Put all ingredients in a 1 quart Ziploc bag and mix until no longer lumpy. Use a knife or scissors to cut out one corner of the Ziploc bag and squeeze the bag contents into a frying pan. Spread evenly with spoon.
- Try adding ¼ tsp. Sugar
- Coat your pan with olive oil or cooking spray for a non-stick surface
- Add water SLOWLY! Sometimes 1/2 cups is a little too much!
There is of course nothing better than washing down a hardy meal with a steaming cup of Maine guide coffee.