Cooking a whole piece of bacon with the beans in this way creates something a little bit naughty! Shred the bacon through the smoky, dark, and brooding beans for a dinner that will keep you coming back for more.
It’s hard to know where to place this on the weekly roster of meal times. At home, we often make it early on in the week and then dine out on it through the week, letting it supplement lots of meals. However, it could easily be the main event if you were hosting. A slaw cut from seasonal vegetables, perhaps dressed in a little buttermilk, is the first thing that springs to mind. Or heaped in a baked potato with good cheese grated all over it? Or on toast? You’ve got options!
BBQ baked beans w/ dry-cured smoked pork belly
1 red pepper, de-seeded and roughly chopped
2 green peppers, de-seeded and roughly chopped
3 onions, peeled and sliced
3 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 head of garlic, peeled and roughly crushed
4 fresh bay leaves
2 tsp dried oregano
2 heaped tsp smoked sweet paprika
2 tsp tomato paste
3 tsp ancho chilli powder
75g dark brown sugar
125ml apple cider vinegar
500ml homemade chicken stock
350g dried haricot beans (or similar), soaked in cold water overnight or for at least 12 hours
- The beans will need a quick simmer in water to begin their journey. Drain them from the water they have been soaking in and tip them into a pot. Cover with fresh water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 mins. Drain and set to one side.
- The rest of the recipe can be achieved in one pot, you just need to make sure that you find one that’s big enough and has a lid that can go in the oven.
- Begin by placing the pan on the stove, add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and to this add the peppers, onions, garlic, carrots and the bay leaves. Colour them off over a high heat – refrain from seasoning this with salt as we are going to cook the beans in here and dried beans don’t love salt until they are fully cooked.
- After sautéing the veg off for about 10 mins, add the tomato puree, smoked paprika, ancho powder, and dried oregano. Stir together and continue to cook for another 3 minutes.
- Then add the beans, chicken stock, tinned tomato, dark sugar and vinegar. Bring it to a boil.
- Preheat the oven to 100°C.
- Place the smoked belly, carefully, on top of the bubbling beans. Fit the lid on top and place it in the oven for 3 hours.
- After 3 hours, remove the lid and then return to the oven for another 3 hours.
- After the next three hours, turn the oven up to 190°C and cook with the lid off for 30 minutes. By this point, the liquid should have been absorbed by the beans, and the belly should be resting on top. The blast at 190°C is meant to help to brown off the meat. Some of the beans might begin to colour a bit too — this is not a bad thing and can be stirred back through the beans.
- Remove from the oven and then leave aside to rest for about half an hour.
- Take a carving fork and a large knife, shred the belly piece into the beans, and give it a good stir all together. Check for seasoning before serving.