As a native Memphian, we have BBQ sauce in our veins instead of blood (OK, a bit dramatic, but you get the point!). Living in France, I’ve now shared my BBQ fanaticism with everybody I’ve met. Ribs are a bit hard to come by here, but a great way to satisfy your BBQ fix is with the beans! My hubby and I have made these beans and have left our friends mouth’s open with shock and their assiettes (plates) empty.
This recipe is dedicated to all those working so hard in the Memphis In May competition and pays homage to their committment to BBQ, despite the horrible storms that are plaguing the South now. Keep on cookin’ and bon appetite, y’all!
Memphis-Style BBQ Baked Beans + Sauce
4-5 cans of white (pork & beans/canallini beans) drained and rinsed
24oz. (2 cartons) of tomato puree
1 can stewed tomato pieces
2-3 ripe tomatoes (if small, then 3) diced
1 can tomato paste or ½ tube tomato concentrate
2 large onions (or 3 smaller ones) diced or sub ½ jar dried onions
2-3 cloves garlic (or 1/2 tsp. dried)
1 large green bell pepper (or 2 small ones) diced
2 tsp. Tobasco® (or other vinegar-based hot sauce)
1 tsp. Worcester/HP sauce (I prefer the HP)
2 ½ tsp. smoky paprika
1 tsp. cumin
½ cup strawberry jam or preserves
½ cup dark brown sugar
2 tsp. Kosher/sea salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
½ cup + 2 tbs. olive oil
1 regular package of smoked bacon diced
1 tbs. Dijon mustard
½ cup apple cider vinegar
½ tsp liquid smoke
Preparation: (TIP: without beans and put through a sieve, you’ve got great BBQ sauce!)
1) Drain & rinse beans to remove excess liquid and set aside.
2) In a oven-save pot (cast iron or Le Creuset® if you have it) add bacon, onion & bell pepper to render and brown a bit. Add a dash of olive oil or butter if needed to help with the render.
3) Add tomato paste, tomato pieces & tomato concentrate to the rendered mixture & stir to get all the good bits off the bottom of the pan.
4) Add all other ingredients (in any order is fine) as desired.
5) Cook over stove top on low-medium heat for 2-3 hours. You should see the mixture turn from an orange base colour to a glossy red-based colour (same as bolognese sauce).
6) Then, (*add any browned meats at this stage) place in the oven for an hour at 325F or 160C.
7) Let cool and pig out y’all!